Bounce house fun can end dangerously

A bounce house that allows children to jump and cavort on an inflatable platform has become a fixture at birthday parties and picnics in this country. However, there were injuries every day involving these attractions, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Some of these have involved catastrophic injuries.

Inflatable bunce house injuries have grown over the last 20 years and 30 children suffering injuries each day. This is an injury taking place every 45 minutes. These continue to increase because of unsafe practices and the continued popularity of these attractions.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission analyzed emergency room data and reported that there were almost 19,000 injuries involving moon bounces, bounce houses and inflatable amusement parks in 2012. These may not include unreported injuries such as sprains, strains, cuts and abrasions.

According to an Akron orthopedic surgeon, serious injuries included fractures to legs or extremities. There was also a neck injury leading to paralysis and a concussion. Other injuries involved broken bones and noses and heat exhaustion and stroke. In one case, a severe ankle fracture hindered the child's growth and required several surgeries.

Most of the injuries treated by this surgeon happened inside the bounce house and involved a child falling and suffering an arm or leg fracture or crashing into another child. Weather, operator error and lack of parental supervision are the primary causes.

Ohio, Pennsylvania and only a few other states have regulations governing the issuance of permits, inspections and insurance. Best practices that can prevent these injuries include following guidelines for anchoring and safe installation, age restrictions, height and weight restrictions, restricting rough play and placing the bounce house in an area away from fences, branches and other obstacles. Close adult supervision is also essential.

An attorney can help victims of these injuries seek accident compensation where injuries are caused by negligence, failure to comply with Ohio's regulations on these attractions or defective installation or equipment. They may help assure that a lawsuit is timely filed and pursue these rights in court or in negotiations.

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