With summer in full force, parents are planning a lot more outdoor activities, especially when it comes to attractions. Perhaps one of the most recognizable staples of birthday parties, fairs, and other summer attractions is the bounce house. Parents often let their children use bounce houses because they are perceived to be safe, affordable, fun. However, oftentimes that can be very far from the truth.
According to CNN, the number of bounce house-related injuries rose approximately 1,500% between 1995 and 2010. Additionally, in 2010 alone, an estimated 31 children were treated in emergency departments each day across the nation. That factors to an estimated one child every 45 minutes. The problem is also escalated when one realizes that these injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises, to even death in rare cases.
The problem is not only national but local as well. According to a report by KHOU, there are many bounce house operations in Houston that need to be thoroughly investigated or shut down completely. Why is this? Quite simply, many of these locations operate illegally; not only without a license but without further investigation of their safety.
In order to operate a bounce house, the business owner must obtain a specific license for bounce houses because they are classified as amusement ride. In order to be certified, bounce house operators must have at least a $1 million dollar insurance policy. Moreover, it is essential that both the operators and parents understand that bounce houses can be dangerous, and thus, it requires care and attention to run one. Bounce houses, and their operators, are typically managed by the Texas Department of Insurance (or TDI) and are enforced by the Attorney General’s Office. If convicted, illegal operators of bounce houses can face up to six months of jail and $2,000 on a Class B misdemeanor charge.
Causes of Bounce House Injury
Some of the problems that can arise with a bounce house are:
• Lack of Firmness: It is important to remember that, by design, bounce houses are light and not tethered completely to the ground. Not only can they topple over, injuring children that way, but there have also been cases where bounce houses, and the children inside them, have been blown away with extreme weather.
• Holes: Because of the type of material that bounce houses are fitted with it is possible that holes can arise. When this happens not only can it quickly deflate the house, but it can also cause injuries to the children inside.
• Dirtiness: One of the biggest problems of bounce houses, and often one that goes unrecognized, is the lack of cleanliness of bounce houses. Operators that do not regularly clean bounce houses can cause them to be infected with bacteria that can lead to children spreading infection. In fact, it is not uncommon for a dirty bounce house to be the cause of a serious staph infection.
• Lack of Supervision: A major problem in many operations is failing to adequately supervise the children, overcrowding, unruly kids and improper use all can lead to accidents.
Although bounce houses still represents a very fun way for children to enjoy the summer, it is equally important that the child remains safe while using them.
Contact a Lawyer for Bounce House Accidents
If your child has been injured in a bounce house, moonwalk, or other amusement, and would like to speak with a bounce house injury attorney in Houston. Call us at 281-587-1111 for a no-obligation consultation or send us an email!
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Baumgartner Law Firm
Phone: (281) 587-1111