IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Bounce houses: good, safe fun or dangerous doings?

It’s a bird. It’s a plane….Holy cow!  It’s a bounce house!That was the surreal scene this weekend on New York’s Long Island, where not one or two, but THREE bounce houses  took flight after a heavy wind gust.  Several kids inside the houses had minor injuries.Check out the shudder-inducing video here.This isn’t the first time it has happened. There have been three incidents of fly-a

It’s a bird. It’s a plane….Holy cow!  It’s a bounce house!

That was the surreal scene this weekend on New York’s Long Island, where not one or two, but THREE bounce houses  took flight after a heavy wind gust.  Several kids inside the houses had minor injuries.

Check out the shudder-inducing video here.

This isn’t the first time it has happened. There have been three incidents of fly-away inflatables in Arizona since February. In one of them, sisters Jessica and Alissa Baray unexpectedly took a ride in the bounce house that was behind their house. Jessica, 11, fell onto the ground while Alissa, 9, landed on a roof two homes away and ended up with a concussion.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission reports that from 2005 to 2007, bounce house-related accidents sent 6,000 people a year to the ER, most between ages of 5 to 14. The most common injury of inflatables is broken bones. (And that’s with inflatables that stay put and don’t blow away!)

In a post earlier this year, Wendy Sue Swanson, a mom and pediatrician who blogs as Seattle Mama Doc, wrote about her hatred of bounce houses and said she has a visceral response every time her two sons want to bounce. She says:

I want to simply let my kids enjoy these houses without feeling tortured. But when F and O are bounding around in one of those houses, big kids flying, and limbs and heads rising about the horizon, I worry. And I can’t seem to rid myself of the response. When the birthday party invitation at the bouncy house comes with a waiver of fiscal responsibility for injury or death, you know something is up…

Swanson has some helpful ideas on how to maximize safety when kids go a-bouncing, whether it’s in an inflatable or on a trampoline.

What do you think? Do bounce houses freak you out? Or do you feel they are safe for kids to play in?