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Bounce House Injuries under Scrutiny

Bounce House Injuries Continue to Rise

Child in bounce houseBounce houses have become increasingly popular at youth birthday parties and at community events. Bounce houses are inflatable structures, typically enclosed with netting on the outside, where small children can go and jump and “bounce” around in a seemingly safe environment. Though bounce houses have been around for decades, studies show that there has been a 15-fold increase in the number of injuries tied to the structures in the last 15 years.

One of the principal reasons for the dramatic increase in injuries—the products are now available over-the-counter from many national retailers and wholesalers. An educator at the Child Injury Prevention Alliance pointed to more than 11,000 bounce house injuries in 2013 alone. “If [we were talking about] a disease, it would be considered an epidemic,” said Tracy Mehan.

The injuries take all kinds of forms—there are numerous reports of serious injury to children when bounce houses are set up in high winds without adequate means to anchor them. A bounce house in Colorado was blown across a field with two small children still inside, and similar incidents have occurred in New York and other states.

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has developed voluntary guidelines for setting up and operating a bounce house, addressing a wide range of issues, from how many attendants must be present to how deeply stakes must be driven into the ground to anchor the structures. Almost 20 states have enacted laws making those voluntary guidelines mandatory, but the majority of states still have no effective regulation of bounce houses. In those states, the Child Injury Prevention Alliance has lobbied hard for best practices that include requiring children to evacuate the structure if winds reach a certain speed.

Contact Aronberg, Kouser, Snyder & Lindemann, P. A., Attorneys at Law

At Aronberg, Kouser, Snyder & Lindemann, P. A., we have more than 35 years of experience helping people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 856-429-1700. Your initial consultation is free.

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