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Are bounce houses dangerous for children?

If you and your family have ever visited a Georgia street fair, county fair or outdoor birthday party, you have probably come across a bounce house, or an inflatable play area where kids jump, bounce and sometimes suffer injury. In addition to running the risk of suffering injuries caused by bumping into or landing on one another, kids also face risks if bounce houses are not properly erected and secured, something the media has paid considerable attention to in recent years.

Per CNN, bounce house-related injuries have spiked dramatically over the last several decades, with a 1,500-percent increase in the number of injuries suffered by children in bounce houses reported in the period between 1995 and 2010. Furthermore, 2010 statistics show that a child suffered injury about every 45 minutes in a bounce house that year, leaving many parents and safety advocates asking what they can do to protect kids.

Just how dangerous a bounce house is for children depends primary on three factors, which are known as the “three Ws:” weather, workers and warranty. Not allowing play during windy or inclement weather is one way to increase bounce house safety, as particularly strong winds have the capacity to lift a bounce house off the ground and blow it away. Workers, too, play a role in how safe a bounce house is, as they must erect and anchor the attraction properly and closely monitor the number of children in it at any given time.

The final “W” stands for “warranty.” While most states do not regulate bounce houses in terms of inspections, parents can ask house operators about insurance policies and when the house last underwent an inspection to help ease their concerns.

This information about bounce house safety is informative, but it should not serve as legal advice.

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