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‘Bounce houses’ more dangerous than mechanical rides: study

February 19, 2014

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Toronto – Children may be more likely to incur injuries from inflatable “bounce houses” than mechanical amusement rides, suggests a new study from Ryerson University.

Using 2010 data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, researchers examined amusement park injuries and found a total of 476 cases among a network of 100 hospitals, which they said translates to 13,770 such injuries across the United States. Bounce houses and other inflatables accounted for 42 percent of amusement park injuries, followed by roller coasters (20 percent), carousels and bumper cars (3 percent each). More than half of bounce house injuries involved children 15 or younger.

However, one-third of the injury cases studied did not specify the type of ride involved, which represents a significant hole in the data.

Still, researchers recommend parents check the safety of bounce houses by ensuring the inflatables have license tags and attendants instruct children on safe behavior, avoiding overcrowding, and limiting bounce times to children of similar ages.

The study was published in the February issue of the journal Safety Science.