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By Trishna Buch
When I was younger I always went to a lot of birthday parties.
And at these parties there were a few staples: cake,
presents, friends, games and bouncy houses. Of course,
for any child, a bouncy house is a huge hit. We would
try and cram as many of us as possible into these giant
inflatable devices and then jump around like Tigger from
the Winnie The Pooh series. We’d try and do flips and
cartwheels, we’d try to jump high enough to reach the ceiling
and we’d even play a game where some of us would
be seated and the others would bounce, and we’d try to
get the ones seated to be lifted a few inches into the air.
It goes without saying, but the bounce houses were always
the biggest hit of the parties. I never had one at my
own birthday parties, but I made sure to go to every party
where I knew one would be in attendance.
Based on my own experiences, I would never assume
that these bounce houses could be dangerous. But I would
be wrong. A simple Internet search revealed that various
bounce house related accidents have taken place—both
inside the house and involving the house itself—that have
caused harm and even death to children. An article written
a year ago by WYFF said that “more than 113,000 people
were injured in inflatables from 2003 to 2013, most of them
children.” And reading the article from WYFF showed me
that one of the most common bounce house related accidents
take place when these devices blow away from their
location and fly through the vicinity; sometimes with the
children still inside. You can read more about these accidents
That sounds straight like a scene from a television show,
doesn’t it? And you would be right, because the show 9-1-
1 recently aired an episode which involved a runaway

bounce house that was pulled off its pegs, flew around with the
children (and one adult) trapped inside and eventually stopped at a
cliffside. Watching that episode, I thought to myself: there is no way
this can happen in real life. Turns out, it can. You can read more
about the episode at
And just recently—this weekend, in fact—a child in California was
trapped inside a bounce house as it blew onto a highway. The New
York post says the child suffered minimal injuries and that the wind
was a major contributing factor, but it leads me to think—how can
we keep our bounce houses safe? You can read more about this
incident at
According to Make Safe Happen, there are several ways to make
sure bounce houses are safe. For one thing, it is important to make
sure that the people using the bounce house are all of a similar
size. So that means no adults in the bounce house when there are
children in it. I mean, I understand that there is something appealing
about these devices to some adults, but the bottom line is that
they are for children. There is no need for an adult to be in one at
the same time as children, and this is further evidenced by the fact
that this has been the cause for some of the accidents. Other ways
to keep a bounce house safe is to always have adult supervision,
make sure the children are using the device safely and start safe
evacuation processes if “the bouncer begins to lose air, or if it’s too
windy”. Make Safe Happen also provides tips on how to properly
set up a bounce house, by stating that it needs to be placed in a
location that is flat and even, away from objects that could stick out
from the ground. It also needs to be away from items that could be
dangerous, such as power lines and tree branches, and needs to
be “anchored with long metal stakes that have been driven into the
ground.” And if the bounce house is set up inside, it needs to be
located away from walls. You can read more at makesafehappen.
Furthermore, a website called Policygenius spelt out a few more
bounce house safety tips, including: only let children who are
aged six and older use the devices, make sure they go into these
bounce houses with nothing in their pockets and all their jewelry
and eye glasses and other potentially sharp and dangerous objects
removed from their person and check your state’s regulation on
bounce houses. You can
Bounce houses are great fun for children, and—sometimes—
adults. But it is our responsibility to make sure they are safe, so
that the accidents involving them come to a minimum or, even better,
a complete stop. It’s all about responsibility and making sure
the devices are safe, secure and being used properly

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