Bouncer house injuries up 15-fold

Nov. 29, 2012 at 12:33 AM

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- In the last 15 years, there has been a 15-fold increase in injuries from inflatable bouncer houses used at carnivals and birthday parties, U.S. researchers say.

Meghan C. Thompson, Thiphalak Chounthirath, Dr. Huiyun Xiang and Dr. Gary A. Smith of the Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio; and colleagues said injuries from the colorful inflatable bouncer houses included strains, sprains and fractures as well as head and neck injuries.

In general, the injuries resulted from collisions among children bouncing in the inflatable bouncer houses or from falls getting in and out of the bouncer houses. The study found an average annual rate of 5.28 injuries per 100,000 children.

"The number and rate of pediatric inflatable bouncer-related injuries have increased rapidly in recent years," the study authors wrote. "This increase, along with similarities to trampoline-related injuries, underscores the need for guidelines for safer bouncer usage and improvements in bouncer design to prevent these injuries among children."

The findings were published in the journal Pediatrics.

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