June 2, 2014 — The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has launched an investigation after two more children were seriously injured in a bounce house in Littleton, Colorado. Winds were gusting at 30-mph. Two 10 year-old children were injured by an inflatable bounce house that blew about 200 feet across a field during a lacrosse tournament.
Last month, two young boys fell out of a bounce house and were hospitalized with serious injuries when high winds sent it 50-feet into the air. The bounce house broke free from its plastic anchoring stakes.
In recent years, dozens of children have been injured or killed in similar accidents. In 2011, 13 children were injured when a bounce house blew across a soccer tournament in Oceanside, New York.
The wall of a bounce house is like a kite or a sail. If it is not properly secured, the wind can catch it like a plastic bag in the wind. Although bounce house rental companies avoid most injury lawsuits by making renters sign a complex liability waiver, some lawsuits have been filed against rental companies for failing to properly inflate, secure, or supervise a bounce house.
According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics in November 2012, the rate of bounce house injuries doubled from 2008 to 2010. Researchers found that about 65,000 children were treated in emergency rooms for injuries that occurred in bounce houses between 1990 and 2010. Most of those injuries involved sprains, strains, and broken arms or legs. Nearly 20% had head and neck injuries.
“The number and rate of pediatric inflatable bouncer–related injuries have increased rapidly in recent years. This increase, along with similarities to trampoline-related injuries, underscores the need for guidelines for safer bouncer usage and improvements in bouncer design to prevent these injuries among children.”
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