Bounce House Related Injuries on the Rise for Children
As a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer, children injuries are typically the most emotionally difficult cases to litigate. In most situations, comparative fault can be applied to plaintiffs, but it is much more challenging to blame a defenseless child for an accident. For attorneys helping those injured in bounce house accidents, the plaintiff is typically a young child hurt while using or occupying the apparatus.
The Role of Vendors in Bounce House Safety
While it is certainly a parental responsibility to supervise their child, when it comes to dangerous instrumentalities such as bounce houses, the vendor holds ultimately responsibility ensuring the safe use of its product. Proper instruction for the safe use of a bounce house is essential, and this must be deliberately conveyed to the user (i.e. parent) prior to a child’s entry. The American Academy of Pediatrics highlights the importance of responsible vendor conduct in its study titled “Pediatric Inflatable Bouncer-Related Injuries in the United States, 1990-2010”.
That study revealed that from 1990-2010 more than 64,000 children were treated in U.S. emergency departments for bounce house injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics stressed that bounce houses are no different than trampolines – they are both not safe. Additionally, the publication noted that “from 2008 to 2010, the number of inflatable bouncer-related injuries more than doubled to an average of 31 children per day.” Nevertheless, it is inevitable that children will partake in dangerous recreational activities, but safety measures should still be followed.
Current Statistics on Bounce House Injuries
A 2022 study led by the CHOC Research Institute presents startling statistics. It revealed that from 2015 to 2019, 82,748 kids were hurt in bounce houses, compared to only 5,599 during 2000-2004. From 1995 to 2010 alone, there was a staggering 15-fold increase in the number of bounce house-related injuries.
According to another study by Thomas E. Gill, Ph.D., at The University of Texas at El Paso, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, at least 479 injuries and 28 deaths worldwide since 2000 were attributed to weather-related bounce house incidents.
- Boys (53.9%) are more likely to get hurt than girls (46.1%).
- The most reported injuries were fractures (25.8%), muscle strains (25.7%), and contusions (14.5%).
- Around 96% of injuries occurred in bounce houses at homes.
- Lower extremities were the most common area of injury.
- Most injuries (70%) occur from May to October.
- While concussions are rare, they are almost twice as likely to occur in children over 6 years old compared to those under 6.
Comparing Bounce Houses and Trampolines
The American Academy of Pediatrics has likened bounce houses to trampolines concerning the risk of injury. It’s crucial to understand that both activities require vigilant supervision and adherence to safety guidelines. According to a 2016 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were approximately 103,512 trampoline-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms in the United States.
The Importance of Safety Regulations
In light of these statistics, it is clear that stricter safety regulations and increased awareness among parents and guardians are necessary to protect children. While some states have implemented specific regulations for inflatable amusement devices, including bounce houses, there is a need for a consistent national approach.
The Need for Regulation and Education
Despite the alarming numbers, no federal safety regulations for bounce houses currently exist. CHOC pediatric surgeon Dr. Saeed Awan highlights that there is a false perception that these devices are safe. The CHOC Research Institute emphasizes that more industry regulation and community education are needed.
Tips for Ensuring Children’s Safety
- Ensure Proper Setup: Make sure that the bounce house is installed with safety regulations like tie-downs, proper inflation, and weight limits. Place it in an open area, away from trees and powerlines. Ensure easy supervision and access in an emergency.
- Prevent Children Under Age 6 from Bouncing: Young children lack proper coordination to avoid landing awkwardly.
- Supervise: Ensure a trusted adult always supervises the children.
- Jump in Small Groups: One jumper is ideal to avoid injury. If more kids are involved, limit to small groups of similar size and weight.
- Don’t Allow Tricks: Prohibit horseplay, somersaults, or flips.
- Remove Shoes, Glasses, and Jewelry: Children should remove any clothing, accessories, or sharp objects when entering the bounce house.
Was Your Child Injured in a Bounce House Accident? We Can Help
Being an injury lawyer that represents those hurt in bounce house accidents, the underlying cause of action is typically negligence. The actions taken by bounce house operators during the rental of its product to parents largely form the basis for lawsuits stemming from an injury to a child. Without question, bounce house vendors owe a duty to its customers to properly warn and notify of the risks associated with its use and explicitly convey safety rules. Unfortunately, all too often rules of use and safety are neglected by these bounce house companies, thus leaving the child vulnerable to the dangers of such an activity.
If your child has been injured in a bounce house accident, our experienced lawyers are here to help. Contact Us Now for a free consultation.