As the weather warms up and kids start having outside birthday parties again, you’re likely to see some bounce houses in people’s backyards. These can be great fun, and allow children to bounce as though they are on trampolines, but in the relative safety of an enclosed structure. Did you know, though, that an average of 31 kids across the nation are treated in emergency rooms every day for injuries received from playing in a bounce house? These houses of bouncy fun actually can carry some risks. Here are some ways to keep your child safe without banning them from going into bounce houses altogether:
- Watch what she’s wearing. Most people have the rule of “no shoes” in their backyard bounce houses, but they don’t often check for things like jewelry and metal hair clips. If your child were to bang into another child, she could be injured by her sharp accessories, so have her take them off before jumping.
- One or two children at a time is safest. Now, at a birthday party full of exuberant children, this rule is likely to be overlooked. The party hosts need to be vigilant, though, that there aren’t too many kids in the bounce house. The more children there are, the higher the risk of injury. At the very least, make sure that all of the kids in the house are around the same size; a little one is likely to be injured when there are several big kids jumping as well.
- Just say no if it’s a windy or rainy day. One big gust of wind could send a backyard bounce house flying, with the children still inside! And if it’s rainy, the jumping surface is likely to be slick and slippery, increasing the risk of injury. Bounce houses are meant to be played with on calm days.
- Don’t allow stunts. While simply jumping is relatively safe, once kids start trying to do flips or dives, all bets are off. Simply put, that’s not what the bounce houses are made for, so insist that kids jump just on their feet, and if you see any children roughhousing or trying to do flips, have them leave the area.
- Use your best judgement. If something seems “off” about about bounce house, then don’t let your child play. If there are too many children, if kids are bringing drinks inside, or if there is no adult supervision, then accidents are more likely to happen. Just keep an eye on what’s going on and don’t be afraid to divert your child and encourage him to find an alternate activity instead.
Children find bounce houses extremely fun, because they are! With some common sense precautions, you can keep them safe, too.
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