Report: Injuries Related To Bounce Houses, Other Inflatable Attractions, On The Rise

Is it every kid’s dream to go flying through the air, light as a bird, only to land safely on a soft surface? Perhaps. But that doesn’t mean that all of those inflatable bounce houses, castles, slides and other amusements are necessarily safe for children, and a federal agency is pointing to a rise in injuries on such attractions to make sure parents are aware of the risks.

In a new report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the group says data from 2003 to 2013 shows there were an estimated 100,000 injuries related to the air-filled structures during that time, the kind with flexible fabric that stay inflated through continuous air flow from at least one blower.

The injuries kept climbing through that time period, from about 5,000 in 2003 to more than 17,000 in 2013, the CPSC’s report says.

“Parents and caregivers need to be aware that there can be serious incidents in backyard and community events with inflatables,” Patty Davis, a spokeswoman for the CPSC told USA Today. As the numbers go higher, the trend should be seen as a “wake up call for parents,” she added.

The kids getting injured the most are those between 4 and 15 (a rather large range) at 61% of the overall injuries from 2011 to 2013.

Adults aren’t totally safe, either — there were 12 deaths from 2003 to 2013 and half of those fatalities were adults.

While the CPSC continues to work on ways to “beef up” safety standards for these kinds of inflatables, the CPSC just wants parents to know what they’re dealing with. Some tips:

• Children should always be supervised, first and foremost.

• Follow manufacturer’s instructions for set-up carefully.

• Make sure it’s properly staked and anchored.

• If it’s super windy outside, don’t use ’em — maximum wind speed should be 15 to 25pmh.

• Keep kids away from gas generators and air pumps.

• Young children shouldn’t be inside the inflatable moon bounces with older kids.

• If it’s a public event, ask the company running the ride if they are licensed and experienced.

Moon bounce injuries on the rise, report finds [USA Today]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.