NPR : News

Filed Under:

Some Kids Bounce Straight To The Emergency Room

If your kids absolutely must jump around at their next birthday party, an inflatable moonwalk or bounce house may be a safer bet than a backyard trampoline. But only a little safer.

The wildly popular mosh pits for the school-age set have become a common source of injuries that send kids to the hospital.

Over the 15 years ending in 2010, the yearly injury rate from bouncers increased 15-fold to more than 5 injuries per 100,000 kids, according to an analysis just published in the journal Pediatrics.

The injury rate from trampolines, for comparison, was about 32 per 100,000 kids in 2009.

An estimated 31 kids a day in 2010 were treated in emergency rooms for bouncer-related injuries. Total injuries sustained on bouncers that year? More than 11,000.

All told, there were probably around 64,000 injuries sustained in the bouncers between 1990 and 2010, the researchers say. Though the actual figure could have been almost 97,000 or as low as 32,000, given that these were estimates made from a sample of about 100 hospitals.

The most common injuries were broken bones and sprains or strains.

The researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, say theirs is the first study to estimate bouncer injuries using national data and to look at the types of injuries treated in emergency rooms.

"Although authors have drawn parallels between trampoline-related and inflatable bouncer-related injuries, bouncers have escaped the attention garnered by trampolines in the medical literature and public policy arena," they wrote.

So, the researchers call for guidelines for safer use of bouncers and better designs to cut down on injuries.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


From Trembling Teacher To Seasoned Mentor: How Tim Gunn Made It Work

Gunn, the mentor to young designers on Project Runway, has been a teacher and educator for decades. But he spent his childhood "absolutely hating, hating, hating, hating school," he says.

How Do We Get To Love At 'First Bite'?

It's the season of food, and British food writer Bee Wilson has a book on how our food tastes are formed. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with her about her new book, "First Bite: How We Learn to Eat."

Osceola At The 50-Yard Line

The Seminole Tribe of Florida works with Florida State University to ensure it that its football team accurately presents Seminole traditions and imagery.

Payoffs For Prediction: Could Markets Help Identify Terrorism Risk?

In a terror prediction market, people would bet real money on the likelihood of attacks. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about whether such a market could predict — and deter — attacks.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.