Experts say bounce houses are dangerous, death traps susceptible to light wind

Bounce house in a backyard
Bounce house in a backyard Photo credit Getty Images/FooTToo

Bounce houses have long been a staple of birthday parties and festivities, but should they be?

One expert believes that bounce houses are way more dangerous than any of us realize, and should be done away with as soon as possible.  Sorry, kids.  No more fun.

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Ok, not really, BUT John Knox, a professor of geography and faculty member in the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia, conducted a study that found that 28 people have died, and 479 others have been injured, in 132 wind-related bounce house incidents since 2000, an estimate that he and his team of believes is an undercount.

What makes bounce houses so dangerous, according to Knox, is that it doesn’t even need to take powerful wind to cause real damage.

In just under half the recorded incidents according to the Washington Post, there was no abnormal hazard, and locally observed winds were below 25 mph.

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) advises that people do not erect bounce houses in winds above 25 mph, though bounce house regulations vary from state to state.

19 states rely on the ASTM’s guidelines, though 17 states have no guidelines for usage of the inflatables.

The ASTM also recommends that bounce houses are operated by professionals who keep a continual eye on the weather in case they need to be evacuated and deflated.

According to Knox, in the US, more than 10,000 people annually visit the emergency room for bouncy-castle-related injuries.

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