The number of children getting hurt on inflatable bouncy houses is rising steadily. A 2012 report in the journal Pediatrics estimated that nearly 65,000 children were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for bouncy-house-related injuries between 1990 and 2010.
More than half of these injuries were in children ages 6 to 12, and more than one-third of the injuries were in children under age 5. Most injuries were caused by falling and involved fractures or sprains, usually to the arms and legs.
“We’re not saying children shouldn’t use them, because we want kids to have an active lifestyle,” Smith explained. However, adult supervision is needed to minimize collisions and discourage high-risk moves, such as flips, Smith said. He also suggested making sure that children using the bouncy house at the same time be a similar age and weight.