A new study has found that injuries associated with inflatable bouncers like bounce houses and moonwalks have increased 15-folds in the past decade.

Researchers found that in 2010 alone, more than 30 children each day were treated for injuries associated with playing on these inflatable bouncers. And because many children had suffered from injuries to head and neck, playing on these bouncers can be really dangerous.

Data for this study were obtained from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS).

Falls, that occurred while performing stunts or colliding with other kids, accounted for a majority of the injuries (43 percent). Children admitted in hospitals for bouncer-related injuries were mostly treated for fractures and strains or sprains.

"The findings from this study show that there has been an alarming increase in the number of injuries from inflatable bouncers. It is time for us to take action to prevent these injuries. Ensuring that parents are aware of the potential risks, improving surveillance of the injuries, developing national safety guidelines and improving bouncer design are the first steps," said Gary A. Smith, MD, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Most of the injuries related to the bouncers occurred in a recreational setting (48 percent). Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics had issued safety guidelines regarding the use of trampolines. Researchers say that since injuries related to inflatable bouncers have risen in the past few years, there is an urgent need of a similar guideline for the use of bouncers.

"The medical and public health community has yet to provide recommendations on the safe use of inflatable bouncers. The growing epidemic of inflatable bouncer injuries make it clear that it is time to do so," said Dr. Smith.

Researchers recommend the following safety tips:

  • Limit use of bouncers to kids 6 years and older.
  • Ensure that an adult is supervising the kids who are using the inflatable bouncer.
  • Never allow many children to play on the bouncer. Let each child take turns to play.
  • If more than one child are playing on the bouncer. Make sure that the kids are approximately the same age and size.

The study is published in the journal Pediatrics.