According to The Associated Press, bounce houses in Florida look like fun, but accidents involving the inflatables have resulted in serious injuries and death all over the US:
- In June 2011, a windy afternoon in Long Island, NY sent bounce houses off the ground, seriously injuring a woman, age 36, of Oceanside, NY. The woman suffered head and spinal injuries when the bounce house landed on her.
- In 2009, a boy, age 11, suffered bruises after wind tossed a bounce house about 70 yards near Cincinnati, OH.
- A boy, age 5, was killed in March 2010 when he fell off an inflatable in Wichita, KS.
- Children in a bounce house were blown across three lanes of traffic near Tucson, AZ in April 2011.
It is not the bounce houses that cause serious injuries, but the way they are installed and supervised. Not all party equipment rental or amusement operators are trained on anchoring inflatables. A Consumer Product Safety Commission report in 2005 linked the popularity of inflatables with increased injuries at emergency rooms from 1997 to 2004. The agency identified about 1,300 injuries in 1997 and 4,900 in 2004. The National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials noted bounce houses were not suppose to float away if they were installed with stakes secured in the ground.
Serious injuries from bounce houses include spinal cord injuries and head injuries. The spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular bundle of nervous tissue and support cells that extends from the brain, controlling movement, sensation. Spinal cord injuries damage nerve roots that carry signals to and from the brain, disrupting communication between the brain and body, causing loss of motor functions. When an accident from a bounce house completely damages the nerves, a spinal cord injury victim becomes limited in movement. Some symptoms of spinal injuries:
- Difficulty walking and/or balancing
- Severe back pain
- Loss of bladder control
- Numbness in extremities
- Respiratory problems
Traumatic head injury is a dangerous type of personal injury often caused by a severe blow to the head, damaging the internal lining, tissues, or blood vessels, leading to physical and mental problems. Traumatic brain injury from a bounce house accident may result in death or permanent disability. Traumatic head injury symptoms include headache, confusion, blurred vision, ringing ears, fatigue, vomiting, seizures, and slurred speech. Little can be done to reverse the head damage. Head injury leads to high medical bills from long-term rehabilitation, and lost income from diminished ability to work.
An experienced Florida personal injury attorney understands the devastating lifestyle and work ability effects resulting from serious injuries.