Study: Bounce houses present growing danger to children

11:34 PM, Nov 26, 2012   |    comments
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A national pediatric group says an attraction you can find at many parties and festivals is causing more injuries to children than ever.

A new study released by Nationwide Children's Hospital found that in 2010, a child went to the emergency room every 45 minutes for injuries from bounce houses and moonwalks. That number is 15 times higher than it was in 1995.

"The findings from this study show that there has been an alarming increase in the number of injuries from inflatable bouncers," said Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Robert Vogt is owner of Bounce House and Inflatables for Less in Knoxville. He said he has brought the inflatable devices to over 500 parties his year, without any children claiming injuries.

He told 10News it is just important bounce houses are set up the right way by the people who use them.

"If everything is followed correctly, the units are very safe," he said.

Tom Gates also runs Fun Time Moonwalks in Knoxville. He said parents need to monitor their children whenever they are bouncing in inflatables.

"Whenever we set them up, we instruct the renter or the church or the school, whoever [is] renting them, they have to watch the children and control their play," Gates said. "Uncontrolled play is where the kids would get hurt."

Aleka Blackwell lets her 7-year-old Gabriel play in inflatables whenever he's at parties. She said always tries to keep a close eye on the activity happening inside the moonwalk.

"I usually make it a point of watching when he goes in and check to see that no rambunctious kids are in there," she said.

The study also says parents should consider only letting children six years or older use inflatable bouncers, but Vogt said he disagrees there is any need to implement such guidelines.

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