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Bounce house injuries to kids rise dramatically

The inflatable bounce house is a party staple, but a new study suggests that 30 children a day are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to bounce house play.

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The bounce house may be fun, but the number of child injuries Here, children play in a bounce house in Vidor, Tex. in 2005.

LM Otero/AP

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They may be a big hit at kids' birthday parties, but inflatable bounce houses can be dangerous, with the number of injuries soaring in recent years, a nationwide study found.

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Kids often crowd into bounce houses, and jumping up and down can send other children flying into the air, too.

The numbers suggest 30 children a day in the United States are treated in emergency rooms for broken bones, sprains, cuts, and concussions from bounce house accidents. Most involve children falling inside or out of the inflated playthings, and many children get hurt when they collide with other bouncing kids.

As the popularity of the bounce houses has grown, the number of children aged 17 and younger who got emergency-room treatment for bounce house injuries has climbed, too – from fewer than 1,000 in 1995 to nearly 11,000 in 2010. Injuries have doubled just since 2008.

"I was surprised by the number, especially by the rapid increase in the number of injuries," said lead author Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

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