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Bounce Houses Pose a Significant Risk to Children
Children love to bounce and while everyone recognizes the obvious risks posed by trampolines, a brightly-colored castle-shaped balloon seems like safe fun. Whether these devices are completely enclosed or have side openings, children can easily fly up into the air and fall quickly to the ground, offering countless opportunities to sustain serious accidental injuries. With complex rules and regulations scattered within North Carolina legislation, it often takes support from an experienced Charlotte injury lawyer to help hold all responsible parties accountable.
The Many Risks of Bounce Houses
According to the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, an estimated 64,657 children age 17 and younger received emergency room treatment for bounce house injuries between 1990 and 2010. Even more disturbing, they reported a 15-fold increase in these injuries between 1995 and 2010 and a doubling between 2008 and 2010. Nearly 47 percent of injuries, which were primarily sprains and strains, occurred at places of sports or recreation, but home injuries were not far behind at nearly 38 percent.
The following are the most common causes of these injuries:
- Falls in or on the bouncer (26.1 percent)
- Falling from or getting in or out of the bouncers (17.2 percent)
- Accidents involving other users, including colliding with or being pushed or pulled by another person (9.9 percent) or when another person falls on a victim (6.3 percent)
NC Regulations May Not Offer Adequate Protection
The Amusement Device Safety Act of North Carolina contains detailed regulations governing the actual operation and inspection of all amusement devices operated within the state. Still, it is easy to argue that injuries to children in bounce houses may be caused more by childlike behavior than by device defects.
In fact, even the inflatable device operation-specific regulations imposed by the North Carolina Administrative Code to provide appropriate supervision fail to truly address the types of accidents that can occur in a split second when more than one child is using a device.
Liability for these accidents can reside with numerous parties — including another child, supervisor inattention, improper setup and maintenance or improper manufacture. This means parents seeking compensation for injuries to their children need to enlist assistance from a personal injury law firm with the skills and resources necessary to conduct detailed investigations into the precise causes of these accidents.