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Beware The Bone-Breaking Bounce House!

Photo by The 621st Contingency Response Wing via Flickr
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You see them weekend upon weekend in sunny Los Angeles: Bounce Houses (or Bouncy Houses, or Bounce Castles or Moon Bounces) set up in parks, at festivals, in backyards and in drive ways. Who would imagine that letting kids all hopped up on soda and birthday cake jump around with each other inside an inflatable structure could be dangerous (insert eye roll)? Now a new study shows that kids are getting hurt at an alarming rate.

The study, which appears in the journal Pediatrics, took a look at bounce house users "17 years old and younger who were treated for injuries from inflatable bounce houses from 1990 to 2010," explains the L.A. Times.

As the study concludes, "[t]he number and rate of pediatric inflatable bouncer-related injuries have increased rapidly in recent years." Partly to blame is the rise in popularity of the use of the bounce houses at children's parties, so naturally the number of people injured and the number of those bouncing have both risen. "There were fewer than 1,000 injuries in 1995 but almost 11,000 by 2010," notes the Times.

Here's a nice scary statistic for you: A child is injured in a bounce house once every 46 minutes on average. (Think about what that means for just one lovely Saturday in Griffith Park!) Common injuries include cuts, sprains, and broken bones. A third of those injured were children six years old and under.

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While some news broadcasts vying for your attention will be happy just to scare you a bit, Pediatrics concludes that their study is pointing towards a greater purpose. The journal remarks that the increase in injuries, "along with similarities to trampoline-related injuries, underscores the need for guidelines for safer bouncer usage and improvements in bouncer design to prevent these injuries among children."

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