In last two decades there has been a dramatic increase in the popularity of bounce houses. Although they may seem less dangerous than rollercoasters or carnival rides, they can ultimately be just as dangerous and have little to no regulations depending on the state.
Between the years of 2003 and 2013 the number of injuries jumped from 5,311 to 17,377 respectively, according to the CPSC (Consumer Products Safety Commission). Further, the trend has continued with over 20,000 accidents nationally in 2016.
The increase in accidents and the dangers related to bounce houses are numerous. In one extreme example in New Hampshire, two boys ages two and three, were playing in a bounce house when the wind kicked up, taking the bounce house with it. The bounce house flew approximately 50 feet into the air, before flipping upside down and crashing into the ground. Although both children survived, they were severely injured.
One of the major problems with the industry is unregulated and unlicensed operators. The situation involving the two injured boys, the operators failed to stake down the bounce house. A quick online search of bounce house operators in Texas produced 90 businesses operating without a permit.
According to Larry Cossio, owner of a national insurance agency that specializes in amusements such as bounce houses, he attributes at least part of the rise in injuries to increases in untrained and unlicensed operators that have popped up since the 2008 recession. Many people left jobless and looking for easy business opportunity are attracted to operating bounce houses. He attributes a sharp increase to new people entering the industry without training or experience to the rise in the number of injuries.
Another significant cause of injuries is what people in the industry refer to as ‘inflatable babysitter syndrome.’ Often parents will order a bounce house for their kids, call their friends over, and serve margaritas. Although severe injuries and death do occur, the most common injuries are sprained ankles, sprained wrist, and sprained necks according CPSC data.
Benny Agosto, Jr. is a partner at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner in Houston, Texas. For over 66 years, Abraham Watkins has successfully represented injured people and families who fall victim to catastrophes. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to obtain just compensation for their clients. For more information, please contact the office of Benny Agosto, Jr. at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner, by letter at 800 Commerce Street, Houston, Texas 77002, or by phone at 713-396-3964.