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Are bounce houses harmless fun or accidents waiting to happen?

During the warmer months, rental bounce houses are a staple at birthday parties and fairs in Las Vegas and across the United States. These large, inflatable trampoline playgrounds are generally considered harmless fun for children of all ages. Unfortunately, as numerous recent accidents have shown, bounce houses may not be as safe and fun as people think. Depending on the company that rents out the equipment and the state of repair it is in, a defective or dangerously operated bounce house may result in legal liability if someone is injured.

CNN reported on the tragic story of a 7-year-old girl from England who was killed earlier this year after a bounce house she was playing in at a fair was swept away by a strong wind. Numerous children across America have been seriously injured when improperly anchored bounce houses blew away.

Rogue bounce houses blowing away in a strong gust is not the only worry. According to TechTimes, a boy contracted a staphylococcus bacteria infection after he played in a bounce house. Staph infections can be serious and sometimes fatal. In addition to infections, children risk such injuries as broken bones, cuts and friction burns if the equipment is not set up safely and play is not monitored by a professional.

Safety advocates say that this equipment must be firmly anchored with heavy-duty stakes and an experienced operator should always be in attendance. After use, a bounce house should be inspected for damage and then thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Parents should never make the mistake of assuming that rental bounce houses are as safe as any other type of backyard play equipment. They are large and potentially dangerous pieces of equipment, and it is the responsibility of the company renting them out to ensure that they are properly used and maintained.

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