Think twice before allowing your child to play in a bounce house

Clancy Law

Children all over America will soon be enjoying the freedom that accompanies winter vacation from school. Though most parents welcome the chance to spend more time with their children, the seemingly boundless energy of younger children may understandably grate on parents’ nerves after a time. Taking your children to a supervised and safety-conscious trampoline park or bounce center may be a great way for your kids to play off their energy as you either play with them or look on.

However, it is critical that your children only engage in bouncing at supervised and safety-conscious bounce facilities and trampoline parks. Rented and largely unregulated portable inflatable bouncers, moonwalks bounce houses and bounce castles present a high risk of injury to young children. According to a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, these dangerous children’s products have resulted in injury to an American child once every 46 minutes in recent years.

Since 1995, injuries caused by rented and portable bouncers have increased 15-fold. Since 2008, at least 31 American children are treated on a daily basis for injuries sustained while playing in a portable bouncer. A co-author of the recent study noted in a statement recently that “The medical and public health community has yet to provide recommendations on the safe use of inflatable bouncers. The growing epidemic of inflatable bouncer injuries make it clear that it is time to do so.”

What makes these portable bouncers so dangerous? Children risk falls, collisions and injuries from stunts at a greater rate when bouncers are not supervised by trained employees and children are not required to follow safety rules mandated by licensed bounce facilities. Therefore, if your child is a little wired this winter vacation and you would like to let him or her bounce off some energy, please ensure that the bouncing takes place at a supervised and safety-conscious facility.

Source: CBS News, “Bounce houses injure a U.S. child every 46 minutes, study finds,” Ryan Jaslow, Nov. 26, 2012

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Think twice before allowing your child to play in a bounce house