Dangers of Bounce Houses and Injuries
If you are not yet a parent, you may not be aware of the popularity of bouncing houses, but there are more and more; in church meetings, fairs and malls, birthday parties, indoor playgrounds and parks.
However, this increasingly popular outdoor fun comes with a risk of injuries.
Medical emergency pediatrician Gary Smith of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the United States launched the first study to find out how many bounce house-related accidents occurred in the country in two decades.
Bouncing houses (also known as inflatable houses or inflatable bouncers) are great fun for kids and a hit at outdoor parties. But are they safe?
My Kid Was Injured in a Bounce House Can I Sue?
You may be able to sue the owner or operator of the bounce house for negligence. In oder to prove negligence you’ll have to show that the responsible party breached a duty of care which led to your child being injured.
Typically the bounce house operator would have a duty to behave like any reasonably prudent person would act. This would involve things like managing the number of kids allowed at one time in the bounce house, not allowing rough housing among the kids, and ensuring equipment is set up properly, etc.
If you have a question about your child being injured in a bounce house accident then contact Avrek Law today at 866-598-5548.
Bounce House Injuries and Statistics
The study, Inflatable Bouncers in the United States, 1990-2010, (from December 2012 issue of Pediatrics) found that from 1990 to 2010 more than 64,000 children were treated in emergency rooms all across the USA for injuries related to inflatable bouncing houses. Additionally, the rate of these accidents is significantly increasing:
From 2008 to 2010, the number of injuries related to bouncing houses increased more than double, to an average of 31 injured toddlers per day.
As is the case with trampolines, inflatable bouncing houses are not safe. In recent years, a number of accidents involving inflatable play houses have been reported. Although they seem very harmless, accidents occur due to faulty falls, ignoring the instructions and rules, or installations.
Strong winds and bad anchors can cause the equipment to collapse or to be blown away, which can cause several accidents, some of them fatal.
Although these inflatable bouncing houses are manufactured with wind safety in mind, facilities are not always inspected or well regulated.
There are guidelines or standards for their installation, appropriate anchoring methods, weight limits and safe operating protocols and rules – including instructions on the weather conditions to be avoided.
Not all states need an inspection certificate before putting these inflatable bouncing houses into operation. This leads to inadequate facilities, which leads to more accidents.
Before Buying or Renting an Inflatable Bounce House – Read Below:
Review the provider’s rules on how to operate the equipment. The equipment should include detailed instructions on weight and operating guidelines. If this information is not included, think twice.
Ask the provider for records of accidents/incidents that have occurred in the past and what measures were taken to prevent them afterwards.
If you rent an inflatable bouncing house from a provider, you should ask him to report any accidents, even those that look “silly,” so that better instructions can be given.
Be wary if they tell you that they have never had accidents. Accidents such as bumps, bruises, sprains and even broken bones are to be expected in any boisterous or loud activity in which toddlers are involved.
Check that your provider has a trained person who reviews your inflatable equipment annually. They must present evidence of any report, if requested.
Safety Guidelines For Inflatable Bounce Houses
Follow recommended guidelines for safe installation including anchorage.
Inflatable bouncing houses must be installed away from fences, gardens, branches, etc., which can be dangerous for toddlers if they are thrown on them.
Ask your provider for the age range of the bouncing house you are using; also consider restricting its use for children over 6 years of age.
Children should not wear shoes, glasses, or jewelry when using the bouncing house.
Remove any sharp objects (pens, keys) from the toddler’s pockets/hands before allowing them to play (they could cause puncture wounds with ease).
Do not allow children of remarkably different sizes to jump into the bouncing house at the same time. Younger children run the risk of injury by colliding or falling under older children.
Do not allow adults or children to exceed the weight or height for which the equipment was designed to jump on them.
Do not enter the inflatable house with food, beverages, bottles or glass objects.
Keep supervision at all times. If you cannot maintain this, the bouncing house should be deflated and moved to another location which allows it.
Supervision means constantly observing and not just being near the area.
Children should be advised not to push other children into the inflatable house. If you have a flat surface, this is extremely important to avoid broken arms and legs.
If the inflatable house is the type that has walls, then children should not be allowed to bounce against walls and collide with one another – this can lead to collision injuries.
Follow the advice given about the maximum number of children allowed at any time and let them in and out at intervals in a controlled manner.
Children should not be allowed to ride outside walls. Do not let allow tumbling or rough play.
When the weather is nice outside, inflatable bouncing houses and trampolines often seem to be an element of more fun for many water parks, amusement parks, restaurants, outdoor parties, or even as a permanent place in the backyard for children.
However, be aware of the risks these gaming equipment pose to be able to make sure you take appropriate measures to minimize accidents because in just a few seconds or minutes this inflatable bouncing house can go from being totally fun to a terrible nightmare.
Homeowner’s Insurance on a Bounce House
Small providers of bounce houses in California that are not properly insured can come with exemptions in hand, which could hold the homeowner liable for additional damages.
Homeowner’s insurance covers injured guests in a bounce house on the property, with basic plans that provide $100,000 in liability coverage.
Having a bounce house in your party, family reunion, etc., exposes you, the owner, to a significant amount of risk.
So, while it is almost a tradition for toddlers to expect a bouncing house in which to jump at parties, it could be a better option for you just to look for safer alternatives, both for your children and your wallet. However, if you do decide to have one, be prepared to call a personal injury lawyer in the event of an accident or a lawsuit resulting from it.
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