Lifestyle & Belief

Bouncy castle injuries increasing: study


Gymnasts bounce on an inflatable version of Stonehenge designed by artist Jeremy Deller at the Greenwich Peninsula on July 21, 2012, in London, England.


Peter Macdiarmid

Bouncy castles, moonwalks and other inflatable bouncers injured almost 65,000 American children between 1990 and 2010, and the annual injury rate is increasing, according to a study published today in the journal Pediatrics.

In 2010, 31 children a day went to the emergency room for bouncer injury treatment, the study found, according to CBS News. That’s 15 times more than in 1995, Reuters reported.

The annual injury rate doubled between 2008 and 2010, CBS News reported.

The kids’ most common injuries were broken bones and sprains, Reuters reported.

The study found that the hospitalization rate for bouncer-related injuries is about 3 percent, which is roughly the same as for trampoline injuries, Reuters reported.

In September, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidelines discouraging parents from allowing their children to bounce on trampolines, CBS News reported.

More from GlobalPost: Doctors want ban on children playing on trampolines

The lead researcher on this study told Reuters that his aim is not to stop kids from jumping in bouncy castles. "My personal philosophy is that we need to try to get children off the couch so that they are physically active and develop a healthy and active lifestyle, but understand any activity comes with risks,” Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, told Reuters. “So the purpose was not to be an alarmist, but to make sure parents understand the risks.”

Smith has called for guidelines on safe bouncing, CBS News reported. His study suggests injuries can be avoided by having parental supervision, limiting the number of children bouncing at the same time and banning kids younger than 6 from bouncers.