A study in the US has revealed a shocking increase in the number of bouncy castle related accidents.
Researchers claim tens of thousands of children are being injured every year in 'bounce houses', and that there has been a close to 15-fold increase in incidents in recent years.
The report cites crowding inside the inflatables, and the effect of children jumping up and down sending them flying into the air resulting in injury.
The research team said that 30 children a day were being treated for broken bones, sprains, cuts and concussions and that the numbers have increased along with the popularity of the inflatable houses.
They say the number of children aged 17 and younger receiving accident and emergency department treatment after sustaining such injuries has risen from fewer than 1,000 in 1995 to nearly 11,000 in 2010.
The lead author of the report, Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio said the figures shocked him.
"I was surprised by the number, especially by the rapid increase in the number of injuries,' he said.
Dr Smith and his team looked at national surveillance data on ER treatment for non-fatal injuries connected to bouncy castles. They found that about three per cent of children were hospitalised, mostly for broken bones after such an accident, and that more than one-third of the injuries were in children aged five and younger.
The US safety commission recommends that children younger than six do not use full-size trampolines, and Dr Smith said barring kids that young from even smaller, home-use bounce houses would also make sense.
"There is no evidence that the size or location of an inflatable bouncer affects the injury risk," he said.
Here in the UK, ROSPA has a checklist for bouncy castle safety, and suggests that parents check for overcrowding before letting their kids on the inflatable, and that they also look to see that it is securely anchored.
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