USA Today-November 26, 2012-According to the article he rate of injuries to children on inflatable bouncers increased fifteen fold from 1995 to 2010, according to a report Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
The moonwalks, slides and bounce houses are popular entertainment at young children's birthday parties and carnivals, but the toll they are taking on the young is "epidemic," says lead author Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
In 2010 alone, 30 children a day were treated for these injuries in hospital emergency departments, the report says. The number of injuries increased from 702 in 1995 to 11,311 in 2010. Falls were the most common cause, followed by stunts and collisions. Smaller children are a greater risk.
Also among the findings:
28% of the children under age 18 were treated at hospitals for fractures.
27% had strains or sprains.
19% had head and neck injuries.
Data for the study were obtained from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, operated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The kinds of injuries reported are similar to those from trampolines, but trampoline injuries are declining, Smith says, while the increase in injuries from inflatables is "astounding."
National safety guidelines exist for trampolines. The report calls for guidelines for inflatable bouncers, saying it is "clear that it is time."
Parents should take precautions when allowing children to use inflatables. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission agency recommends anchoring inflatable products and preventing older children from jumping at the same time as younger children.
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