Bounce houses are much safer than trampolines. Trampolines are safer than they use to be with recent safety additions like the netting, better springs, and stronger mat. However; a lot of accidents still happen from both. The majority of play accidents are from incorrect setup, young kids under the age of 6 or kids colliding into each other.
If you’re looking for ways to keep your kids entertained this summer, the question of bounce houses versus trampolines may come up. What are the differences between these two options?
Is one safer than the other? The answer is not as simple as it seems because there are a few factors to consider.
Are Inflatable Bounce Houses Safer than Trampolines
Which is safer bounce houses or trampolines have always been up for debate. When it comes to playing with them both can be a lot of fun but dangerous if not used correctly.
Which is safer really depends on how kids play on them, as well as your age range, height, and weight relative to those of others jumping. Trampoline risk of injury happens most often when people attempt to do tricks off the trampoline or jump higher than they are supposed to.
When it really comes down to it though bounce houses are much safer. Mainly because they have bouncy walls that keep you inside the castle. Just make sure your bounce house is fully inflated.
Yes, trampolines have added nets but they can only help so much. There are a lot of common injuries like head and neck injuries reported from kids using trampolines compared to inflatable bounce houses.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some dangers with inflatable bounce houses too though. Below I list the major safety issues with both so you can make sure to protect your family from these things happening with bounce houses and trampolines.
Are Bounce Houses Safe / Bounce House Dangers
The main safety issues with bounce houses are related to the amount of space required for setup, and some parents’ concerns about their children getting hurt.
Bounce houses can take up a lot of room in the backyard or even inside on hardwood floors. Setting them up outside means they need enough open area, which may not be available if there is an obstacle nearby (e.g., tree, fence, or shed).
Injuries in inflatables are rare. But some parents worry about their children getting hurt on the bouncy surface and falling off as they play and climb up to get inside or try to jump out of it with all their might.
Bounce house risk of injuries may also include tripping over the power cord for the blower. This can also cause the bounce house to deflate and if children are still inside it can collapse on them so it is very important to have the blower plug, wall outlet/generator away from the opening of the bounce house and not near any heavy traffic areas.
Bouncers have been injured by the bouncy power created when they are jumping too high in an indoor bounce house that has low ceilings. Too much power can lead to accidentally jumping on other children inside which may cause injury depending on their size and weight differences.
Accidental falls can also happen when children are waiting to get in or out of the bounce house. Make sure to have this area clear of any other obstacles to lessen the chance of this.
You can also add pillows and blankets around the exit just in case someone trips, this would prevent them from getting hurt.
If you are renting for a party, keep in mind as a parent the ones you rent for large parties are much larger and will require more space. Make sure to have room on each side of the bounce house to lower the risks of injuries.
Deflating While in Use
If the inflatables do collapse parents may ask “Will my child suffocate inside?” Bounce houses are usually brightly colored from the mesh and air can flow through.
However; if you do notice a collapse try and carefully remove the children in a timely manner or get the blower back online.
Caught in Net
Children can also become entangled in the bouncy netting if they try to climb up into it. This doesn’t happen too often but there is always a chance, most of the time the child can get free on their own if this happens.
Securing the bounce house equipment is very important especially if outside on a windy day. If the winds pick up too much it is best to just cancel the bouncing sessions for another day.
There have been times when structures flew away from a big gust of wind. If it looks like rain this can cause the bounce house to get wet and bounce houses are not designed to get wet.
For indoor bouncers, it is still important to secure it with the sand/water bags that are provided so it doesn’t move to another area of the room that is unsafe.
Height and Weight Limits
Check the instructions and know the allowed amount of children and the weight limit. A lot of times it will have two weight limits, a max weight limit for the whole inflatable, and a single user weight limit.
If they have a roof they will also have a height limit. Follow these to the limit as most manufacturers try and stretch these limits so to be safe you may want to caution on 10% lower than what they have mentioned.
Follow the age limit recommended but also know that 1/3 of all bounce house-related injuries are from children under 5 years old. A lot of these bounce houses say 2-3 years old to start using it but be very careful at any age lower than 5.
With all of these rules, we have one more thing. That is to supervise the children. It is best to keep the bouncy area in your sight and to have one adult per every four kids on a bounce castle.
Make sure the bouncer knows to play nice and not to push or shove.
Are Trampolines Safe / Trampoline Dangers
The main safety issue with trampolines is kids getting a bad bounce and flying off of them onto the ground or hitting their head on the side of the trampoline.
This is mainly from the older trampolines as most of the new ones now include mesh nets to help catch people if they do fly off.
Over time if used heavily the bouncing mat of the trampoline will also get worn out, either through the springs giving out or just wearing down as it is used.
Don’t forget to add on the rain and sun damage since once a trampoline is put together it is rarely taken down.
As the trampoline ages, there is more of a chance for this mat to rip causing kids to fall through the mat and hitting the ground. It is important to inspect this every month of use to make sure it is not getting to this point.
Number of children
Trampolines are so much fun and a lot of times multiple people want to jump and amplify the fun. While this is enjoyable jumping with others it is not recommended.
Trampolines are recommended to have 1 at a time or the risk of injury really goes up. Try and create other ways like having someone do a trick then they get off and the next person gets on and tries to duplicate it.
The amount of jumping trampoline accidents when adding another child accounts for 3/4’s of the accidents reported. This is because a child jumping on the mat and bouncing someone really high when they are not ready and they can fall out or someone could lose control and the kids can collide.
Accidents and injuries happen if your kid gets hurt a hospital visit may be needed to make sure there are no broken bones or fractures.
Any child younger than 6 is at a much higher risk of getting injured. With this let the younger bouncer use them with extreme caution and care.
Doing crazy tricks can cause issues if you land incorrectly. The type of injuries this can cause is spinal issues, broken bones, head and neck injuries.
There are a lot of trampoline injuries reported each year so consider an inflatable bouncer to help avoid the ride to the hospital emergency room.
It is important that your trampoline is set up correctly. Check it often so it does not break. Make sure anything on the sides that is hard has padding over it. Ensure a net of some sort is set up to keep people inside the structure.
Please make sure to follow everything in this article to ensure safety. You can also look at the American Academy of Pediatrics Trampoline Safety Guidelines.
Once all these guidelines are followed the kids will play and have so much fun while getting loads of exercise. There are a lot of different inflatable toys for your children’s birthday parties to rent or buy.
Now that you know bounce houses are safer please take a look at our post with recommended bounce houses to purchase. If you have decided to go the other way here is a list of our best backyard trampolines.
Please be careful and use at your own risk
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