Posts Tagged ‘bounce house’

Heat Illness: A Potential Bounce House Risk

Is it too early to jump to conclusions?

We’ve all heard tragic stories of kids and pets left unattended in vehicles in hot weather. Some parents and pet owners have simply been distracted for a few moments and suffered the greatest of losses.

One parent, a researcher at the University of Georgia, wondered if bounce houses might pose a similar risk for children. Marshall Shepherd is a professor of geography and atmospheric sciences who saw his own child bouncing in one on a hot day and decided to test his theory. The results of his study, “Do Inflatable Bounce Houses Pose Heat-related Hazards to Children?” was published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Children are more vulnerable to heat exhaustion and other heat illnesses, according to Shepherd’s co-author Andrew Grundstein, also of UGA. Children need to be monitored closely when participating in sports and other physical activities in hot, humid weather. It’s possible they could become overheated in the greenhouse-like environment of a bounce house.

Indicators of potential heat illness can include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and skin that is moist and flushed.

How hot is hot?

The study’s experiments were conducted on a bounce house on the UGA campus in typical summer weather conditions for Athens, Georgia. Measurements over a five-hour timespan showed that the the bounce house air temperatures were consistently greater than the ambient temperatures. On a 92°F day, the temperature in the inflatable was nearly four degrees higher. When outdoor temperatures exceeded 100° F, the temperatures in the bounce house were almost seven degrees higher.

The heat index, where relative humidity is factored into the actual air temperature to determine how hot it actually feels, was also taken into consideration in the study. The difference in the heat index inside the inflatable was considerably greater than that of the air temperatures. The bounce house’s average heat index reached nearly 104°F, or more than seven degrees than outside, while difference at the peak temperature of 117°F was more eight degrees.

The risk to sports organizations

Some sports organizations bring in bounce houses as fundraisers. General Liability policies for sports organizations often have an exclusion for inflatables due to the risks of injury involved. Recent media accounts have cited examples of serious injuries occurring when improperly anchored inflatables have been lifted high into the air during wind gusts. Inflatable or bounce house operators should always provide proof of General Liability insurance with an each occurrence limit of at least $1 million and name the sports organization as an additional insured.


Source: “Researchers Say Bounce Houses Raise Heat Safety Concern,” www.insurancejournal.com. 10 Aug. 2016.

Bounce House Injuries

Lack of safety regulations means bouncer beware

Bounce houses are popular entertainment at carnivals, children’s parties, and other events. But news stories about flyaway bounce houses are becoming all too common.

More than 30 children a day are treated in emergency rooms across the country for inflatable-related injuries, such as broken bones and concussions. There were more than 113,000 injuries and 12 deaths associated with inflatables nationwide between 2003 and 2013, according to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission report.

Inflatables, which include bounce houses, water slides, and bounce-slide combinations, are not regulated nationally. Each state sets its own guidelines and some, like Florida and Nebraska, have no safety or operational standards in place.

Renters and users should be aware of the guidelines in their state and make sure the company providing the inflatable is practicing them. Ask to see the rental company’s inspection checklist and make sure they followed the printed warning labels when setting up the inflatable.

The Child Injury Prevention Alliance website offers bounce house safety tips for parents and children.

Inflatable-Bouncers-Infographic 3

 

Source:Dan Krauth, “Company Behind Bounce House That Went Airborne Involved in Another Accident,” nbcmiami.com. 08 June, 2015.