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Two young boys in upstate New York were seriously injured on Monday after they fell nearly 20 feet when the bounce house they had been playing in was swept away by a gust of wind. While this was by all accounts a freak occurrence, bounce house injuries are not unusual.

The injured boys, ages 5 and 6, suffered broken arms and injuries to their face and head. One child landed on a parked car, while the other landed on asphalt. The children were reported to be in stable condition at Albany Medical Center.

Bounce houses are inflatable toys that children bounce around inside. Popular at carnivals and birthday parties, bounce houses are usually open in front to allow entry and exit and are held upright by inflatable columns. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reviews bounce house products. In 2007, the agency issued a recall for a bounce house distributed by Sportscraft.

The bounce house involved in the New York accident was manufactured by Little Tikes.

Injuries from bounce houses have steadily increased over the years. In 2012, Gary Smith, M.D., a pediatric emergency physician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, published the results of a study he conducted. Dr. Smith gathered information on injuries that occurred between 1990 and 2010.

“Inflatable bouncer injuries increased 1,500 percent between 1995 and 2010,” said Dr. Smith. “In 2010 alone, 31 kids were taken to the emergency room daily – that’s one child every 45 minutes.” Between 2008 and 2010, the number of reported injuries doubled. “We speculate that the sudden spike in injuries in related to bounce housed becoming a fad during this time,” said Smith. More than half of the children who were injured were between the ages of 6 and 12, with more than one-third being under the age of 5.

Dr. Smith advised that children younger than 6 years of age not be permitted to play in bounce houses and that supervision always be provided. “Flips and somersaults are also never a good idea. In the worst cases, the risk of injury can even be paralysis,” he said.

The dangerous toy injury lawyers at Clark, Perdue & List have represented the families of children who have been injured by dangerous or defective products. If your child has suffered an injury and you believe it occurred due to a defective product, contact Clark, Perdue & List.