Monday, November 26 2012, 05:40 PM MST
Bouncy Castle Dangers
(CBS) Inflatable bounce houses have become a staple of kids' birthday parties and backyard barbeques.
But as their popularity has gone up, so has the number of injuries.
A new study finds on average, 31 children are hurt every day.
The Wohlstetter kids love jumping around in their bounce house so much that their mom keeps it indoors so they can play all year round.
“My children love it. They get their energy out. They're laughing, they're giggling,” Meryl Wohlstetter, a mother, says.
Inflatable jumpers known as bounce houses and moon walks have become increasingly popular in recent years, but they can be dangerous.
A new study in The Journal Pediatrics finds the injury rate has skyrocketed from 5,300 emergency room visits in 2008 to more than 11,000 in 2010.
“Currently we are seeing in a typical week one or two of these injuries where in the past it may be one a month,” Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. Robert Glatter at Lenox Hill Hospital says.
The study also found more than a third of the injuries involved children younger than six.
Fractures and sprains are the most common complaint.
Doctors say bouncers should be designed better to cut down on injuries.
Parents should also take safety precautions, like making sure the blower stays plugged, otherwise the inflatable could collapse.
Also, parents should limit the number of users at a single time.
“Parents should be aware that if they choose to allow their children to jump in the devices that they jump with children of similar size age weight and shape in order to avoid catastrophic injuries,” Dr. Glatter says.
Meryl Wohlstetter says she makes sure her children are careful. “I haven't had any problems, any injuries and the children love it. If they follow the rules, it's ok.”
She plans to let her kids keep jumping until they're too big to use it.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out with a policy statement against the home use of trampolines.
The authors of this study say the AAP should consider whether to do the same for bounce houses.