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Injuries Skyrocket From Inflatable Bounce Houses: Study
Date:11/26/2012

r -- or collisions, Smith said. In some cases, kids broke their forearms while trying to break their falls. Accidents occurred most often at sports or recreation sites (44 percent) or at someone's home (38 percent).

Dr. Richard Schwend, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' section on orthopedics and professor of orthopedics at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, said that, in general, the injuries appeared to be minor.

"However, similar to trampolines, the potential for more severe injury is high when children are attempting stunts, or if a smaller child is being bounced by a larger child or children," he said. "I have seen cervical spine injury and paralysis when a child jumps headfirst and lands on the head."

If parents choose to let their kids play in bounce houses, they should make sure that they're 6 years or older, Smith said. An adult should supervise the activity at all times and allow only one child inside at a time. If that's not feasible, children should be of similar age and size, he pointed out.

Manufacturers, meanwhile, should look at ways to make the bounce houses safer, Smith added.

Dr. Tigran Avoian, an orthopedic surgeon at Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital who has studied the risks of bouncers, said they're "fun to use and may be safe if used properly."

However, "the importance of preventive measures to keep this attraction safe cannot be overestimated," Avoian said.

"Because children are the end users and because companies typically do not provide the supervision on rented inflatable bouncers, the burden of safety falls ultimately on the parents' shoulders," Avoian noted. "Parents should be familiar with the risks and dangers and should receive proper supervision instruction."

More information

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has details about

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