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How safe are inflatable bounce houses?

If you have a preteen or younger child, chances are good that you are familiar with the concept of "bounce houses." These inflatable structures are popular rentals for birthday parties, festivals and other celebrations for kids all over the United States.

However, are bounce houses safe? According to some research, your children may be at a high rate of injury while jumping in and on these attractions.

One issue of Pediatrics claims that injuries from these inflatable structures have jumped to up to 15 times as many occurrences as in 1995, and that they cause over five injuries to each 100,000 kids who use them.

Additionally, one pediatrics professor at a medical school in the midwest who is also the director at Nationwide Children's Hospital's Center for Injury Research and Policy conducted an analysis of medical records with his colleagues. Together they looked at data from the database of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System that dealt with emergency room visits for those under 18. During the 10-year period from 1990 to 2010, the director and his cohorts discovered nearly 65,000 injuries that were related to inflatable bounce houses.

The rates appear to be climbing, as the injury rate doubled from 2008 to 2010, indicating as many as 31 kids are treated each day in emergency rooms across the nation for bounce house injuries. That number equals one kid every 46 minutes.

Falls make up the bulk of the injuries, or 43 percent. Stunts and colliding with other jumpers come in second and third, respectively. Of the total injuries, 44 percent happened at recreational settings, while 38 percent occurred at home.

A fifth of all injuries were to the neck and head area, potentially causing concussions in young children. Over 27 percent of bounce house injuries involved broken bones, and another 27 percent were reported to be sprains or strains. Of that number, almost a third involved the lower extremities, and almost 30 percent involved the upper extremities.

While some injuries were considered to be relatively minor, approximately 3 percent of the total number of injuries required hospitalization; most commonly for fractures. Over half of the injured patients were male, with an average age of 7 and a half years.

If your child gets injured this summer in a bounce house, you may have legal recourse to seek damages.An Illinois personal injury attorney can advise you.

Source: CBS News, "Bounce houses injure a U.S. child every 46 minutes, study finds," Ryan Jaslow, accessed June 02, 2016

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