How many events have you been to in the past year or so where there was an inflatable bounce house set up for the kids to play in? And how many birthday parties have you attended that were held at one of those bounce house centers with five or six inflatables for the kids to jump in to their hearts' content?
And one more question -- have you ever worried about your kids getting hurt while bouncing?
Well, as it turns out, a new report says that 30 children are treated for bounce-house related injuries in hospitals across the country each day.
Yep, doctors are seeing so many injuries from bounce houses, in fact, that they're calling the problem an epidemic.
And as a mom who's held her son's past two birthday parties at one of our local bounce house places -- I was kind of shocked to hear about what a hazard those things can be. I've let my 6-year-old run in and out of them for at least three years or so, and never once have I really worried about him falling and seriously hurting himself. The worst I figured could possibly happen is him accidentally running into another kid and having some sort of head-butting incident -- injuries like broken bones never seemed like a possibility.
But as you will see in this video clip, bounce houses can be much more dangerous than we ever imagined.
Ok, so some parents will probably panic after hearing this report, but I'll be honest -- it's not going to stop me from letting my little guy play in them. We just have to be smart about it to keep our kids as safe as possible. Here are some tips to follow to help keep bounce houses a safe and fun place that all of our kids can enjoy.
- Always make sure your kids wear socks with treads on the bottom to help prevent them from slipping.
- No jewelry, watches, or anything that could potentially get caught on part of the bounce house. (This one should really be a no-brainer.)
- Wear appropriate clothing -- Dress your kids in gym-type attire so they can move more freely. Material like denim will make it harder to go down slides, etc.
- Don't mix ages. Keep toddlers in one house and big kids in another to avoid any potential trampling or collisions.
- If the bounce house is set up in your yard, always make sure an adult has an eye on it to see that it's properly inflated. (I've seen one deflate and almost trap a little girl -- and it's a pretty frightening sight.)
- NEVER EVER EVER set them up on windy days, and even on non-windy days, make sure they are properly tied down.
- At parties where many kids are present, think about hiring a babysitter to follow them in and out of the larger houses to make sure no one gets hurt.
- When in doubt, go down the slide with your smaller kids. They aren't heavy enough to get down and could possibly bounce right off the slide and hurt themselves.
Will this new report stop you from letting your kids play in bounce houses?
Image via Mary Fischer