Cincinnati Children's Blog

Jump Smart: Inflatable Bouncer-Related Injuries on the Rise

A new study shows an increase in injuries among children using those inflatable bounce houses common at birthday parties and community events.

Researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found a 15-fold increase in bouncer-related injuries from 1995 to 2010. In 2010 alone, more than 30 kids each day were treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries related to inflatable bouncers, the study said. Fractures and strains or sprains were the most common kinds of injuries, and about one in five injuries were to the head and neck.

In 2011, Cincinnati Children’s treated five bouncer-related injuries among inpatients. The number of outpatient injuries was not available.

Dr. Mike Gittelman, a professor of pediatrics in the Division of Emergency Medicine at Cincinnati Children’s, said he has not personally seen many bouncer-related injuries. According to Gittelman, while this trend is a problem, issues like drowning and firearm injuries remain bigger ones. People also should realize that the majority of these bouncer-related injuries are “pretty minor” for those 6 years of age and older, he said.

“We have not seen a huge number of bounce house-related injuries,” said Dr. Junichi Tamai, the director of the Physician Assistant Program in the Division of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at Cincinnati Children’s. “That said, we have seen more of them than we had five years ago. The increased rate of these injuries is most likely related to the growing popularity of these bounce houses.”

Read more about the study.

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