Bounce houses, giant slides, and other inflatable units are frequently the main attraction at school carnivals, children’s birthday parties, and other social events. But more and more frequently, these “inflatables” are the focus of stories on local news broadcasts, where parents and personal injury attorneys are interviewed about a new lawsuit arising from serious injuries to a child. These bounce houses, inflatable slides, and inflatable jumpers are designed to attract children – they are designed with bright colors, cartoon graphics, and other features that appeal to kids. But most inflatables are not designed to keep these children safe, and they have amassed a horrible safety record. This poor safety record has lead to several studies and reports that confirm these “moon walks,” bounce houses, and other inflatables are unsafe products.
In 2004, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a report on inflatables. The CPSC sampled hospital records to calculate the number of inflatable-related injuries between 1997 and 2004. This report, as well as other data on bounce houses and inflatables, showed a dramatic increase in injuries children during this period, with annual injuries estimated to be around 5,000. There have even been 4 confirmed deaths. The majority of the victims were between the ages of 5 and 14.
These bounce houses, inflatable slides, inflatable climbing walls, and other inflatable amusements are often owned by rental companies, which means the equipment might not be properly maintained and it might not be taken out of service when it is worn out. As inflatable manufacturers have followed a trend towards more spectacular and eye-popping designs, these changes in design have often sacrificed safety features. Bounce houses, slides, and climbing units can also have external features that can injure children, such as the electrical connections, the generators that are used to keep the unit inflated, the air blowers, and the cords and tubing strewn behind the inflatable unit.
Children playing in inflatable units can sustain many kinds of injuries, including traumatic head, neck and spinal cord injuries. Undoubtedly, many cases of mere bruises, cuts, scrapes, and sprains go unreported, but unfortunate victims must often visit the emergency room for stitches and the treatment of fractured or dislocated bones. One conducted by a Level I Trauma Center in Los Angeles concluded that as many as 4,000 children were injured each year in inflatable-related accidents.
When a child is injured due to a bounce house collapse, a fall from a tall inflatable slide, or an electrical shock around an inflatable amusement, the child can recover compensation from the responsible parties, which typically include some combination of the rental company that owned the unit, the manufacturer of the inflatable unit, the operator who was physically present at the time of the injury and charged with the safe operation of the unit, and the property owner that allowed the unit to be installed on the property. Attorneys can assist you with these claims for negligence, defective products liability, design defects, and premises liability. Our bounce house and inflatable lawyers will be with you and your child through every step of the legal process to explain the development of the case, to ensure the child’s needs are met, and to relieve the parents’ stress.
If someone you know has suffered an injury due to an inflatable bounce house or inflatable slide unit, just complete the case evaluation form on this website and we will get in touch with you.