While many parents instinctively worry about the safety of traveling carnival rides, many don't think twice about sending their children into bounces houses set up at festivals and parties.
But healthychildren.org, a website by the American Academy of Pediatrics, cautions that inflatable bounce houses can be dangerous.
More than 64,000 children were treated in U.S. emergency departments for bounce house-related injuries between 1990 and 2010, according to a study published in the organization's medical journal. The study also found that between 2008 and 2010, the number of injuries more than doubled to an average of 31 per day. To learn more about the study, visit healthychildren.org/english/safety-prevention/at-play/pages/bounce-houses-safety-information-for-parents.aspx.
The website offers these tips for safer play:Consider limiting bounce house use to ages 6 and older. Take off footwear, eyeglasses and jewelry before jumping. Do not let children of significantly different sizes jump at the same time to avoid collision-related injuries. Follow the maximum height and weight guidelines as well as how many children can bounce at once. Don't take food, drink, bottles or glasses into the bounce house. An adult should closely supervise the action at all times. Children should not push other children off the inflatable or into the walls, or climb the outside walls. Prohibit flips and rough play.
- Melissa Kossler Dutton