Are bounce houses actually safe to use?

Bounce houses are often part of summertime fun for kids. They appear at birthday parties, school carnivals and even backyard barbecues.

Unfortunately, they may not be all that safe.

Bounce house injuries happen all the time. In fact, doctors say that nearly 30 children get injured every single day in them -- some even die. Common injuries include cuts, bruises, fractures, spinal damage, paralysis, heat exhaustion and head trauma.

In many cases, a lack of adequate adult supervision is responsible for the worst injuries. Too many people assume that the bounce houses are essentially entirely safe for children and that they're unlikely to be harmed while they're inside. That shows that many adults fail to consider exactly how animated children can get inside a bounce house -- and what kind of damage a human body can actually do when it lands hard on another human body.

Some of the injuries come about because the people in charge of facilitating the bounce house playtime don't consider what can happen when children of vastly different sizes are inside at the same time. A teenager or two inside a bounce house with a first grader, for example, is a recipe for disaster.

In other cases, the bounce houses themselves are a threat. There have been instances where bounce houses have been lifted right off the ground due to high winds and swept into roads, high into the air and down hills -- with either adults or children caught inside. A bounce house that isn't firmly secured to the ground is always a safety risk.

Use extreme caution when allowing your children to enter a bounce house this summer. If there isn't a supervising adult, a strict adherence to safety rules that would prevent large and small children from getting in together or overcrowding, and a secure method of keeping the bounce house firmly grounded, steer the kids clear.

If your child is hurt, it's important to seek medical attention right away. Even something like a broken bone can ultimately become a catastrophic injury if it occurs near a growth plate on a young child.

Source:, "Preventing bounce house nightmares and injuries," Lindsey Watson, June 04, 2018

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