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If there's a bounce house within a 10-mile radius, somehow, kids just know. Call it instinct. Or maybe those inflatable odes to joy actually emit some sort of frequency only children can detect. Either way, let your offspring have at a bounce house and expect shrieks of glee.
And possibly a head wound.
Today reports a new study published in the journal Pediatrics shows bounce house injuries are on the rise.
"More than 30 children are treated in a hospital emergency department every day in this country for an injury associated with an inflatable bouncer," Dr. Gary Smith, a pediatric expert at Ohio's Nationwide Children's Hospital, tells the news show. "Thirty kids a day, and that equals a child every 45 minutes."
The study finds that bounce house injuries doubled between 2008 and 2010, Smith tells Today, with sprains and broken bones among the most common ailments.
How do you get hurt jumping on air-filled cushions? Falls, both inside and bouncing out of the house, collisions and roughhousing happen most frequently, according to the news show.
To keep your kids safe, Smith tells Today to "consider limiting the use to children 6 years and older, because we know the risks are less for that age group," and to make sure kids playing are in the same age range.
Sound advice, we're sure. After all, you watch your little preschooler scurry up into a bounce house, enormous grin on both of your faces, only to see three 10-year-old boys fling themselves through the little opening. Hello, terror. We meet again.
But our kids aren't worried. No, they're having the time of their lives. Thank goodness for time limits, or we'd never see them again. So, what's a parent to do? If you're like us, you just watch through the nets, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. And check out these 8 smart safety tips.