NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Bounce house-related injuries are increasing in the United States.
A study by Dr. Gary Smith of Nationwide Children’s Hospital based in Columbus found that those injuries rose 1,500 percent between 1995 and 2010 and in the last two years of that study, the rate more than doubled.
Just this weekend in Colorodo, a gust of wind rolled a bouncy slide 300 feet across a field. And three weeks ago in upstate New York, a bounce house was carried 50 feet in the air during a windstorm, seriously injuring two kids.
“Each year, 30 children are sent to the emergency department with injuries related to bounce houses, so that can be fractures, sprains, strains or concussions,” said Gia Ramsey, Injury Prevention Coalition coordinator. “We want to make sure that if you’re going to be using a bounce house or your child will be using a bounce house, that it’s from a reputable company that you feel comfortable with, the inspection of it, that it is properly stored and used every time.”
Ramsey also said parents should supervise their children while they are inside and make sure they are following all the posted instructions.
Jack Richardson owns Jump and Slide in New Middletown. He said inflatables cannot be used in winds higher than 15 mph, and are required by the state to have a list of rules on the unit and a brass tag with an up-to-date inspection sticker on it.
His company even requires an attendant to be on site with the unit at all times.
“It’s terrible because it’s all fly-by-night operators that don’t know what they’re doing. They come and buy one on the Internet, they think ‘oh, it’s easy money, fast money.’ And then three kids go flying away and give the whole industry a black eye,” Richardson said.
He said if a company is not state certified, they should not be used. He also said an attendant should be with the unit at all times and the attendant should set it up and tear it down.
“In case something would go wrong, too many people inside the bouncy at one time to control the environment around there, make sure the fans and the unit is operating operating properly,” Richardson said.