May 11, 2015 Post By: Children's Health

7 Tips to Help Avoid a Bounce House Tragedy
Recent injuries to two boys in a bounce house that took flight prompted us to ask an injury prevention expert from Children's how to keep kids safe.

Did you see the recent story about a bounce house taking flight in New York? Two young boys who were playing inside were seriously injured after a gust of wind lifted the bounce house into the air 15 or 20 feet off the ground. We’d like to think this is an isolated incident, but it’s not. On average, about 30 children per day are being treated in U.S. emergency rooms for injuries they sustained on an inflatable bounce house. Many of these injuries are serious and range from bumps and bruises to broken bones and concussions.

Bounce House Safety Checklist

Molly Bloomfield, Program Coordinator with The Safety Source-Injury Prevention Service at Children’s Medical Center, recommends the following seven safety practices if you decide your child’s next birthday party or event wouldn’t be complete without a bounce house:

  1. Follow the manufacturer guidelines for correct set up and use.Bounce House 1
  2. Set up the bouncer on a flat surface with open space on all sides.
  3. Make sure the bouncer is in an open space clear from electrical wires and tree branches.
  4. Disregard the plastic stakes that come with the bounce house. Instead, secure it to the ground with metal corkscrew spikes, like the ones used to secure dog chains. These can be purchased at local hardware stores for under $10.
  5. Only allow one or two children of about the same age and size (weight) to jump at a time.
  6. Always check the weather before setting up a bounce house. If there is going to be more than a breeze, don’t set it up, since a strong wind could send the bounce house airborne.
  7. Always have active adult supervision. Keep a phone nearby, and call 9-1-1 in the event of an incident.

Do you have any additional tips to help keep kids safe in bounce houses? Leave us a comment to let us know.