Inflatable Bounce House Injuries on the Rise: Tips to Keep Safe
These days, it seems like summer birthday parties and outdoor kid-friendly festivals are incomplete without a bounce house.
While the plastic inflatable toys are extremely popular with youngsters, the fun they facilitate isn’t without its fair share of risk.
The sad truth is that every year, scores of children are injured in bounce house-related injuries.
And studies show that in recent years, the number of injuries related to inflatable bounce houses has spiked (with some injuries caused by negligence, while others were due to defective products).
A recent study in the publication “Pediatrics” indicates that more than 64,600 children younger than 18 were treated in emergency rooms across the United States from 1990 to 2010 for treatment of injuries suffered thanks to inflatable bounce houses.
What’s more, though, is that those injuries increased 15-fold from 1995-2010. According to the study, that increase was even more sharp between 2008 and 2010, when that number doubled.
A more recent report by the U.S. Product Safety Commission indicated that, from 2011 to 2013, an overwhelming 61 percent of those injured in inflatable bounce house accidents were between the ages of 4 and 15 years old.
According to the reports, the majority of those injuries were fractures, strains and sprains. However, according to one study, in addition to myriad injuries, there were several fatalities reported as a result of bounce houses, too.
In fact, from 2003 to 2013, 12 deaths were attributed to inflatable bounce houses (with half the victims of those accidents being adults), according to the U.S. Product Safety Commission report.
So as you head out to summer parties and other festivities during these dog days of summer, we wanted to give parents a few tips to keep their children safe while taking a jump or two in an inflatable bounce house:
- Read the warnings. Seriously. It’s one thing if the warning on the inflatable bounce house is flawed (if your child is injured and it was found that the warning was insufficient to warn parents of the dangers, there could be recourse for the manufacturer of the product). It’s quite another if a parent or guardian simply did not carefully review any applicable warnings.
- Consider the Waiver. If you’ve been to an inflatable bounce house at a park venue or community festival, you may have been asked to sign a waiver before you or your child were permitted to enter the inflatable plastic realm. Those waivers, in some cases, avert personal injury and/or negligence claims, and might be something to consider if you are planning to rent an inflatable amusement for an upcoming summer party or event. Better safe than sorry (and sued).
- Know What to Do if Something Goes Wrong. If you or your child is injured in a bounce house injury, it is important to call a quality personal injury attorney who can help you determine what party may be liable. As a rule of thumb, if the injury was caused by a defect in the inflatable bounce house itself, the bounce house manufacturer could be liable. If a private company and its employees set up and managed the bounce house – whether it was in a back yard as part of a pool party or in a municipal park as part of a community festival – the company and/or its employees could be sued for negligence.
If you or your child has suffered an injury or died in a bounce house injury you believe was caused by a product defect or negligence, call the Pittsburgh personal injury attorneys at Pribanic & Pribanic today to schedule a free initial consultation at 412-672-5444 or toll free at 800-392-4529.