Are inflatables too dangerous?

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Injuries on inflatable bouncers has increased 15 fold from 1995 to 2010 according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics.

To read the abstract or get the full article, click

Inflatables have always been a source of injuries, but the number of injuries has risen from 702 a year to more than 11,000.  Those are staggering numbers.  What’s really surprising is that the increase has been more rapid between 2008 and 2010.

So, what’s the cause?  Well, first their more accessible.  Just about every birthday party in Southern California has a bouncy at it and that is partly due to the cost to rent one.  Not to mention, there are just more kids playing on them.  Other causes include lack of supervision and no safety guidelines for manufacturer’s, installers and the end user.

We have  safety guidelines for playgrounds and even trampolines, but not for inflatables.  The Center for Injury Research and Policy in Ohio is calling for the Consumer Product Safety Commission to develop guidelines for bouncers.

No Insurance – Inflatables Too Dangerous

Many school insurers do not insure the use of trampolines nor bouncers, but that doesn’t stop the parental pressure.  Even the California PTA has “red lighted” it – preventing them from being used at school related functions.  But that doesn’t stop parental pressure nor does it stop crafty bounce house owners from trying to rent their products to schools.  District risk managers and school board officials can easily reduce this risk by simply prohibiting them all together thru a board policy.

We don’t like to advocate the use of the word “no” when it comes to risk management, but in the case of an epidemic like this, that may be the only way to stop it.


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