'Bounce house' injuries skyrocketing

Story highlights

  • A new study looked at nationwide data on bouncer-related injuries
  • In 15 years, the number of child injuries is up 1,500%
  • In 2010, an average of 31 kids per day were treated in emergency rooms
  • There are no national safety guidelines for inflatable bouncers
If you're not a parent, you may not be aware of the popularity of inflatable bounce houses, but they are popping up more and more -- at church picnics, county and mall fairs, birthday and "bounce house" parties, and indoor playgrounds.
However, the fun from these increasingly popular devices for children's entertainment comes along with a risk of injuries -- noted nationwide, from Seattle to Des Moines, Iowa, to Tampa, Florida.
One pediatric emergency physician in Columbus, Ohio, began wondering if injuries were occurring elsewhere after treating many children who were hurt while playing in inflatable bounce houses.
So Dr. Gary Smith from Nationwide Children's Hospital launched the first study to find out how many inflatable bouncer-related injuries occurred in the United States.
Smith and his team analyzed records from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which is operated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. NEISS collects patient information for every emergency visit involving an injury associated with consumer products.
According to its data, the number of inflatable bouncer-related injuries rose 1,500% between 1995 and 2010.
In the last two years of the study, from 2008 to 2010, the rate of injuries more than doubled, according to the study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
In 2010 alone, 31 children were treated in emergency departments each day on