Bounce houses and other inflatable play areas are a popular staple for fairs, events, and children’s parties, but they aren’t without their risks. Aside from the inherent dangers posed by a bouncy, inflatable surface that your child and other children jump around on, there’s a high potential for negligence-related accidents. If your child sustained an injury while playing in a bounce house in Louisiana, a personal injuries lawyer might be able to help.
Bounce House Injury Statistics
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 4,000 U.S. emergency room visits are linked to inflatable structures every year. Bounce houses make up the majority of those injuries.
People rent or use bounce houses for private parties, festivals, athletic competitions, carnivals, and more. Over the last ten years, inflatable structures have become more popular for everyday use, similar to a swing set or trampoline. Unfortunately, that increase has also led to a rise in injuries, especially among children ages three to 11.
The CPSC even has four documented deaths involving inflatables on record:
- A 21-year-old man in Florida died in 2002 from a broken neck while jumping in a bounce house.
- A 15-year-old boy in Illinois died from a traumatic brain injury after falling off an inflatable slide in 2003.
- An 18-year-old man in Minnesota died from a head injury in 2004 from a fall off an inflatable slide.
- A 25-year-old woman in Massachusetts died after falling off an inflatable climbing wall and hitting her head on the pavement in 2005.
Though there are no reported deaths in children from bounce house accidents in Louisiana, that doesn’t mean these structures don’t pose a threat. There are several ways young children can suffer traumatic injuries in inflatable structures.
Types of Bounce House Injuries
Injuries from bounce houses can range from minor nosebleeds to severe head and neck injuries, including:
- Closed head injuries
- Lacerations and contusions
Severe trauma often requires long-term treatment, which can lead to high medical costs. Holding at-fault parties responsible for injuries with the help of a personal injury lawyer may provide you with the financial means to cover your child’s medical expenses and help them recover.
Common causes of bounce house injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Too many children playing in the bounce house at one time
- Not enough adult supervision
- Weight discrepancies due to children of various ages using the bounce house
- Faulty installation and equipment failure
- Severe weather
Louisiana Bounce House Laws and Regulations
In Louisiana, specific regulations govern the inflatable bounce house rental business. State law requires every air-supported structure, like a bounce house, to undergo an annual inspection. The inflatable structure must have a certificate of inspection from the assistant secretary. The law also requires that rental companies comply with all regulations, service bulletins, adopted standards, and notices.
Who’s Responsible if Something Goes Wrong?
If a child is injured while playing in an inflatable bounce house, several parties could potentially be held liable, including the:
- Property Owner: Bounce houses at private house parties or public state fairs that cause injury can fall under the premises liability law, leaving the property owner responsible for damages.
- Employers or Workers: Private companies and their employees that inflate, provide, or manage bounce houses can be liable for negligence.
- Manufacturers: Defects in bounce houses that lead to injuries could allow the manufacturer to be held responsible for damages under several legal theories, such as product liability law.
When it comes to determining liability, it’s best to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Personal injury cases are often complex, especially if multiple parties may be partially responsible.
How to Safely Use Bounce Houses
Following proper use and safety guidelines when setting up and using a bounce house or other inflatable can significantly reduce the risk of injury. Only use bounce houses in good weather conditions without high winds and ensure that the unit is on a tarp to protect it from the ground.
Inflatable structures should be free of visible rips and tears and not appear saggy. When children enter the bounce house, they need to remove their shoes, jewelry, and other sharp objects that could damage the structure or injure another person.
Constant adult supervision is a must when children play on inflatable play equipment. Do not allow rough play.
Get Help From Our Experienced Louisiana Personal Injury Lawyers at Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys
As a personal injury firm, Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys works on a contingency fee basis, which means you will never pay attorney fees unless you receive compensation for your child’s injuries. Ever! Please know, there are time limits for how long after an accident you can file a claim. Do not wait to get help.
If you cannot travel to our office because of the severity of your child’s injuries, we will travel to your home or schedule a Zoom video meeting. Contact Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys at 985-807-1792, to schedule your consultation at no cost to you.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.