The number of children injured in inflatable bounce houses and moonwalks has risen dramatically in recent years, a new study published this week in Pediatrics finds. The study, conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, discovered a 15-fold increase in the number of inflatable bouncer-related injuries from 1995-2010, to 5.28 injuries per 100,000 children. In 2010 alone, the study found, roughly 31 children were treated each day in emergency departments for related injuries, amounting to one injury every 45 minutes.
Fractures and sprains were the most common types of bouncer-related injuries, comprising 28 percent and 27 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, 19 percent of injuries were to the head and neck. Most injuries were caused by either falls, stunts or collisions, in that order.
There was some good news: only 3.4 percent of injured patients were hospitalized or kept for observations, with fractures accounting for most of the injuries requiring hospitalization.
Among the other key findings:
- The mean patient age for a bouncer-related injury was 7.5 years. Patients aged 6-12 accounted for 54 percent of injuries, followed by patients aged 0-5 years (35.8 percent) and those aged 13-17 years (10.2 percent).
- Roughly 54.6 percent of patients were male.
- Forty-four percent of bouncer-related injuries occurred in a recreational setting; 38 percent occurred at home.