When it comes to bounce houses, common sense is key.

Kids love jumping. It’s a good way for them to be active. But bounce houses aren’t always the safest places to have fun.

“We hear a lot of news stories about strong winds blowing bounce houses away,” says LeGrande Rives, MD, a Washington University hospitalist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “But we mostly see falls, fractures and head injuries, usually from kids running into other kids.”

If your child loves to bounce, keep these tips in mind.

  • Make sure he’s supervised. Don’t let kids jump without an adult nearby.
  • Stick to the limits. A bounce house provider should tell you how much jumpers can weigh and how old they should be. Make sure older kids jump when little ones aren’t around.
  • Leave the jewelry at home. Earrings and other loose items can snag on vinyl and rubber. Sharp jewelry can also hurt a child who falls or steps on it.
  • Keep it clean. Skin infections, such as MRSA, can live anywhere. Don’t let kids with open wounds go into bounce houses.

“Most of all, use your common sense,” Dr. Rives says. “Most injuries can be avoided when parents pay attention.”

Looking for more summer safety tips? Call the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Center for Families Resource Library at 314.454.KIDS (5437) or toll-free at 800.678.KIDS and press “5.”


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