Injuries to children can be terrifying for parents. Even a birthday party or a block party can present unexpected dangers while children are having fun. Recently, the Chicago Tribune reported on a study about an increase in bounce house injuries among children across America.
The study can be found in the journal Pediatrics. It found that the number of United States bounce house injuries to children increased by fifteen times between 1995-2010. Between 2008-2010, injuries doubled. In 2010, one American child was injured every 46 minutes while bouncing in a bounce house. The Ohio pediatrician who conducted the study is also president of the Child Injury Prevention Alliance and he noted that when this type of increase occurs in public health, it’s called an epidemic.
Hospital ERs around the country see about 30 children a day for concussions, broken bones, sprains, and cuts related to bounce house accidents. Most of these are the result of children colliding with other children as they bounce.
The researchers concluded that these increases had to do with an increase in bounce house use, rather than bounce houses becoming more dangerous or parents taking their kids to the ER faster than in the past. There were no factors besides increased use that researchers found to be contributing. Data from the product safety commission showed that four bounce house deaths from 2003 to 2007 involved children hitting their heads.
The increased use in Illinois may have to do with the existence of more bounce house rental companies. The bounce house industry is not strongly regulated in Illinois. Safety training is not required for private rental companies. More people are starting bounce house rental companies in these tough economic times because there are few start up costs to this type of business. Often, the companies do not hold insurance or else their workers are not trained in how to properly tether and stake the house. Plus bounce houses today are cheaper than they used to be; many are now mass-produced and produced offshore cheaply.
Often, a number of parties are responsible when a child is injured at a bounce house: the operator or renter of the bounce house, the company that installs the bounce house, sometimes the company that produced the bounce house, and sometimes a homeowner. In Illinois, amusement parks and rides that are accessible to the public must be inspected; a permit must be obtained and recertification must be procured every following year. An amusement park owner may be responsible for certain accidents if the bounce house is located on his or her property. If your child was injured or wrongfully killed in connection with a bounce house, it may be possible to sue for his or her medical expenses and any other losses that flow from the accident.
Often waivers are signed before a child is allowed to jump in a bounce house. However, waivers signed for a child can be found to be unenforceable. Business owners owe a duty to protect those who are invited onto their property from an unreasonable risk of harm.
Whether or not you can recover compensation for your child if he or she is injured in a bounce house accident depends upon the circumstances. Give the hardworking child injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 924-7575 to discuss your rights. Our caring Chicago personal injury lawyers are available 24 hours per day, seven days of the week. For a free consultation with a capable advocate, please contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.
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