Lack of Regulations Causes Increase in Bounce House Injuries
Families gathering on a sunny, cloudless day for a youth soccer tournament in Oceanside, N.Y., soon found their fun-filled outing becoming an unbelievable nightmare as gusts of wind sent three giant, inflatable bounce houses careening across the field, lifting their occupants and colliding with participants and bystanders. The accident resulted in multiple injuries, sending 13 children and adults to the hospital for treatment, including one mother who was critically injured when an inflatable crash-landed on her.
The inflatable amusements were set up for the event to provide entertainment to young people who attended. Like other bounce house accidents, what began as an innocent fun turned into serious danger when the houses unexpectedly became airborne. As the inflatables began to lift off the ground and scud across the field, tossing and tumbling the children trapped inside, parents, coaches and other onlookers attempted to grab and hold the giant structures, only to find themselves knocked flat. Others attempted to “pop” the houses with pocketknives in an attempt to deflate them.
Mike Perniches, one of the fathers at the event, told the Associated Press, “I never thought there would be any serious issues, any concerns with safety – but now, I’m like, forget it.”
Although they may appear “lighter than air,” bounce houses are actually heavy structures that can cause considerable injury when not properly installed and supervised.
Unfortunately, injuries are not uncommon: In April in just over a week, nine children were injured when two inflatable slides collapsed in events in California; in 2010, a Pennsylvania man died after he was pinned by a collapsing slide; and in that same year, a five-year-old boy died when he fell from an inflatable, landing on a concrete floor.
A 2005 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission examined accident rates involving inflatables and found there were 4,900 bounce house injury cases in 2004, a significant rise compared to accident data from 1997 which linked the structures with 1,300 injuries.
The increase in bounce house accidents is likely due to two primary factors: an increase in the popularity of the portable play areas and an alarmingly spotty record of industry-wide safety regulations and bounce house operating instructions. As a result, many injuries occur due to lack of proper installation and management. Often, bounce house rentals in milwaukee wi and renters allow structures to be overseen by individuals who have not received proper training. The installer may also have very little, if any, guidance in proper anchoring.
Individuals who are injured by inflatables can have serious injuries and incur considerable costs; even minor injuries can end up requiring thousands of dollars in care. Hiring a lawyer with significant experience in handling bounce house liability cases is the first step in ensuring adequate compensation. In addition to renter liability, a qualified attorney can determine the existence of both operator liability and supervisor liability, helping make sure those injured receive payment for their ordeals.