A bouncer house is a type of inflatable structure that is occasionally set up at children’s birthday parties, corporate events, country fairs, school events and many festivals. Bouncerhouses can come in many shapes and sizes – from a small, enclosed bouncer area to a humongous bouncer mansion.
Bouncer houses are a delight to have at many events, especially at children’s parties. However, parents still have to be aware of the many serious injuries that it could cause.
Popularity of Bounce Houses
Bouncers have increased in popularity through the years. A few reasons that they continue to become more popular is that setting one up or renting it out is a breeze. Plus, they usually don’t require you to hire a professional to set them up. Indeed, you can sometimesfind Water slides for sale or bounce houses of your very own for less than $400, which means they’re only a tad more expensive than a Sony PlayStation.
A 2010 study done by the American Academy of Pediatrics says that at least 31 children daily have been treated in US emergency departments with injuries related to bouncer houses. This equals to a child getting injured in a bouncer house once every 46 minutes.
Bounce House Injuries
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has also mentioned that from 2012 to 2013, at least 18,000 people were injured while using an inflatable toy. Leg and arm injuries, including more serious ones like sprains, strains, soft tissue injuries, fractures, lacerations and concussions were the most common types of injury.
Children aged four to fifteen were the ones most likely to get injured. One of the most frequent reasons why children get injured in bouncer houses is because they keep falling out of the houses.
Preventing Bounce House Related Injuries
Participants must remain vigilant, and follow the basic ‘Bounce House Safety 101’ tips you can follow through – no matter if you’re building your own bouncer house, or using a commercially manufactured bounce facility for pure entertainment. Before turning your little ones loose on the bouncer house, make sure to you’re aware of the following safety tips:
Size and Age Considerations – Let your children bounce based upon both size and age. If you have a toddler, don’t let them step inside a bouncer house filled with teens or pre-teens.
Only children aged six or older should be allowed inside bouncer houses. Younger ones might not have the proper balance, strength, or coordination yet to fully enjoy their time inside a bouncer house;
Secure the Bounce House – Always check to see if your bouncer house is safely anchored to the ground. The house’s four corners have to be staked into the ground, then weighed down.
Vince Pivlo, who owns Laff&Grinn Amusements has mentioned that plenty of bouncer house manufacturers have recommended not using their products when winds are from 20 to 25 miles per hour, or higher. Similar sentiments are echoed by Amberg Entertainment CEO, Ted Amberg.
Adult Supervision – have an adult close by when using a bouncer house. In a park or a similar setting, staff members must always be present to keep a close watch on the kids.
The adults can make sure that children remove their glasses, shoes and jewelry before stepping inside. Make sure that they don’t have sharp objects inside their pockets as well.
Exercise Wind Safety – The number one enemy of a bouncer house is strong winds, and this can pose danger to children, especially if unsupervised. Wind power appears to have been one of the major factors in two recent incidents in which a bouncer house was blown away with children still inside.
Plenty of manufacturers have recommended removing kids from bouncer houses, or deflating the house when the wind is too strong;
Another tip thatparents must make is to make sure that an operator is nearby when their kids are inside of a bouncer house. They also need to check and see if the operators are indeed concentrating on what’s going on inside the house, and not outside.
Other Safety Considerations
- Bouncer houses should be inflated on a flat, even surface. Make sure that the area does not include sticks, rocks, or objects that stick up from the ground, such as sprinklers; and
- Do not put bouncer houses near tree branches, fences, or power lines. All sides should contain a decent amount of open space. If a bouncer house lies on a hard surface, place a soft covering near the entrance or exit of the house.
While this list is in no way all-inclusive, it represents a proactive approach to inflatable house safety. For questions or comments please feel free to drop us a line in the comments below.