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A recent study discovered that bounce house related injuries are on the rise by over one-thousand percent. A source of fun and often a staple of children’s parties, the inflatable bouncer or bounce house has become an increasingly popular attraction but it is now claiming injuries at hospitals reminiscent of a growing disease. Gary Smith from Nationwide Children’s Hospital and his team of pediatric emergency physician in Columbus, Ohio were the first to launch a study to find out how many inflatable bouncer-related injuries occurred in the United States.

A wedding taking place at Bestival 2010, held ...
Inflatable house  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What began as a small spark of curiosity for a doctor as dozens as children came into his emergency room injured turned into a nationwide study to determine why inflatable houses have become so dangerous.

For the data, Smith and his team delved deep into records from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which is operated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. NEISS is a data center which collects patient information for every emergency visit involving an injury associated with consumer products. Between the five year span of 1995 through 2010 inflatable bouncer-related injuries rose 1,500%, the data unveiled. Upon taking a closer look from the years ranging from 2008 through 2010, the rate of injuries more than doubled.

“About one child every 45 minutes,” according to Smith, the director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital a child was treated in 2010 alone on average, that is 31 children were treated in emergency departments each day.

According to Smith if these numbers were statistics for an infectious disease, it would be enough to be considered a public health emergency. “This is an emerging hazard, something that should be taken seriously, but something that can be prevented,” he says.

Arm and leg injuries were amongst the most common injuries. And the degree of injuries varied with age. The youngest children, those under 5, were more likely to have fractures, and teenagers were more likely to sustain sprains and strains.

Nearly 1 in 5 children, or 18.5%, had head and neck injuries. However, only 3% of children required hospitalization, according to the study.

The most probable explanation for the increase in injuries may have to do with the increasing popularity of the bounce device. Smith and his team are working to be able to extract from the data the true reason.

For now, it is important to follow safety guidelines when it comes to setting up an inflatable house. And if your child is being supervised by a professional and is hurt, please contact a personal injury lawyer.