Bounce House Injuries Report Overstates The Danger of Inflatable Play Structures

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American Inflatable Alliance shows a recent report on dangers of bounce house injuries fails to account important facts.

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The Inflatable Play Structure Industry provides products and services that entertain both children and adults all year long and have a safety record that parents should be aware of.

A new study was published today in the Journal Pediatrics that was quickly publicized by several newspapers and media networks, including ABC & NBC. This study indicated a rise in injuries resulting from inflatable bounce houses. While unsafe practices may result in injuries to the participants, this study failed to consider several important facts.

John Carr is the head of the American Inflatable Alliance, which includes the major American Manufacturers of Inflatable Play Structures. Carr has provided Liability Insurance coverage for Family Entertainment Centers and Party Rental Companies as well as some national event companies for many years.

Carr stated that while the numbers in the reports sound high, the actual percentage of injuries when compared to the usage of inflatable structures is extremely low. He comments, “My data as an insurance provider to nearly a thousand companies for five years showed that reported incidents of possible injury numbered less than one in one hundred thousand uses of inflatables. The majority of these very few incidents never resulted in a hospital visit or even a medical expense.”

Carr’s current association with Inflatable Manufacturers permits him to estimate the number of times patrons use these devices, for the fun and enjoyment they provide to millions of children every month of the year.

Using just the products of the major American Manufacturers that are in the marketplace today and estimating that a unit might be used as little as 1.5 times per week on average, there would be more than 643 million rides or uses of Inflatable Play Structures per year, representing 25 million children and adults per year using the equipment.

However, when one considers all the fixed location family entertainment centers, community fairs and large public events, as well as products in the marketplace from other manufacturers, actual use is likely well above the 643 million rides.

The frequency of injuries on these Play Structures is extremely low and the most common type injuries when something does happen, are generally minor and do not involve hospital stays.

John Carr notes, “I wanted to add perspective to the report, as most reports, like those that used to be published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, using their NEISS system, typically forecast injury data without regard to the frequency of utilization of the product. When utilization is factored in, injury rates are actually quite small.”

The second fact that is very important to note is that that most accidents occur from misuse or failure to adhere to the safety guidelines.

David Mandt, a spokesperson for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions issued a statement on Mandt pointed out that “Inflatable play structures have fewer injuries than playground equipment found in practically every school yard in America.” The standards for the inflatable industry are very stringent. The problem is that many people do not provide the necessary supervision and allow children break the rules that are usually clearly posted on the inflatable structure.

The Inflatable Play Structure Industry provides products and services that entertain both children and adults all year long and have a safety record that parents should be aware of. Parents renting an inflatable structure should only deal with a professional, reputable company that adheres to the highest safety standards.

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