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Inflatable Bounce Houses Cause Surprising Number of Injuries

from news.MSN.com

Get this:  Everyday, 30 children in the United States are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained in accidents that happen in those happy, jumpy inflatable bounce houses.

According to an article published in the journal Pediatrics, and reported on news.MSN.com, the number of bounce-house injuries have been increasing over the past few years. There were fewer than 1000 injures in 1995, and nearly 11,000 in 2010–a 15-fold increase.

“I was surprised by the number, especially by the rapid increase in the number of injuries,” said lead author Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Any adult who has tried to supervise children in a bounce house know that it is nearly impossible to enforce rules–the kids are at a party… in a space of their own… in a place that seems soft and safe. The problems come from the bouncy nature of bounce houses: Kids bounce into each other, and out of the house onto the hard ground.

The most common injuries include broken bones, sprains, cuts, and concussions. Some accidents are fatal, usually involving children who hit their heads on a hard surface.

What to do?  Experts recommend following manufacturers’ instructions, such as not overloading the play house with too many kids…not allowing younger, lighter kids to bounce with older, heavier kids…and forbidding flips and intentional bouncing into other children. Some suggest that the best way to keep young children safe is to not allow kids under age 6 to use bounce houses at all.

Obviously, it’s up to parents to provide whatever safety measures are necessary for their children, but this article is a wake-up call to everyone. The happy bounce house could bounce your kids right into the hospital.

To read the full article on news.MSN.com, click here:  Kids’ injuries soar

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