The inflatable bouncy castles commonly found at children’s birthday parities and events are a source of potential injury and should be better regulated, say a team of U.S. doctors in a study published in the journal Pediatrics.
The number of children hurt using bouncy inflatables has increased 15-fold since 1995, says the study, which found that the number of children being brought into emergency rooms in the U.S. due to these injuries was 702 in 1995 and was up to 11,311 by 2010.
The most common injuries children sustained while in the castles were broken bones and sprains, the report says.
Though trampolines still make up for more childhood injuries than inflatable bouncy devices, the study authors recommend guidelines.
“The number and rate of pediatric inflatable bouncer–related injuries have increased rapidly in recent years,” says the report. “This increase, along with similarities to trampoline-related injuries, underscores the need for guidelines for safer bouncer usage and improvements in bouncer design to prevent these injuries among children.”