Bounce houses are standard fare in birthday parties, school festivals, backyard barbecues, and other similar affairs. While they provide a lot of exercise and enjoyment for children, bounce houses can be dangerous–and sometimes even fatal–when proper precautions are not taken.

Experts estimate that at least 10,000 emergency room visits yearly are caused by bounce house injuries, including broken bones, concussions, sprains, and neck injuries. But if bounces are designed for play, why do these injuries frequently occur? And what can parents do to avoid them?

If your child was injured in a bounce house accident, you could take legal action if someone’s negligence contributed to it. Our child injury lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC can help you recover financial compensation for your family’s losses and hold the at-fault person accountable for their actions.

Contact a Chicago bounce house injury lawyer at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation with an experienced bounce house injury attorney.

Chicago bounce house injury lawyer

How Frequently Do Bounce House-Related Injuries Occur?

New research from the University of Georgia documented at least 132 wind-related bounce house accidents worldwide since 2000, which caused around 479 injuries and at least 28 fatalities. The study was published by the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

In addition to these injuries, experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) estimate roughly 10,000 emergency department visits related to bounce house accidents in the US annually–or about 30 children every day.

What Causes Bounce House Accidents?

Bounce houses look relatively harmless but can become dangerous in specific circumstances. Most bounce house incidents occur due to the following:

High Winds

Bounce houses are inflatable play structures full of air, functioning like a balloon. Hence, excessive wind speeds can easily jostle a bouncy castle around and throw children off balance. In severe cases, a sudden gust of wind can take a moon bounce off its anchors.

According to John Knox, PhD., lead author of the University of Georgia study and a geography professor at Franklin College of Arts and Sciences in Athens, GA, most wind-related incidents lead to head and neck injuries resulting from children falling off the bounce house after the wind moved it. The study’s lead author also notes that inflatable bounce houses can be moved by winds going less than 25 mph.

The research team also discovered that bounce castles could become airborne and cause much more severe harm, according to Thomas Gill, Ph.D., a co-author of the study and a professor of environmental science at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Three children in El Paso, Texas, were injured when a dust devil picked up the bounce house and flew it over several houses. Dust devils are whirlwinds formed by hot air, sometimes strong enough to lift dust and debris into the air.

A similar incident occurred during a birthday party in Reno, Nevada, where strong wind lifted a bounce house and sent it flying into power lines while three children were in it. Two were injured, and one child was killed.

Improper Installation

While they may not look like it, bounce houses are very buoyant, according to Prof. Thomas Gill. This characteristic explains the majority of wind-related incidents.

Bounce houses should be fastened to the ground with lengthy, metal stakes connected to strong ropes holding the structures down. Sadly, wind-related injuries occur when something goes wrong in this process, such as when the stakes are not deep enough or the rope is not taut.

In Tasmania, Australia, six children were killed, and ten more were severely injured when a bounce house was swept into the air by a “mini tornado,” according to the Washington Post. Although an investigation is still underway, it is unclear whether or not the inflatable was tethered to the ground.


Another University of Georgia study found that the temperature inside bounce houses can reach 104 to 117 degrees, significantly higher than the heat index outside. Marshall Shepherd, Ph.D., co-author of the study, says extreme temperatures can lead to heat exhaustion, dehydration, and burns from areas exposed to sunlight.


Moon bounces can deflate or collapse due to a malfunction, a puncture in the material, or insufficient air. Deflated bounce houses can suffocate kids within seconds.

Lack of Adult Supervision

Safe bounce house use requires the presence of an adult at all times. Kids can fall out of bounce houses, accidentally jump or hit other kids, and suffer heat exhaustion when no adult is watching over them.

Common Inflatable Bouncer-Related Injuries

A bounce house accident can lead to mild to severe injuries, including:

  • Muscle Sprains: Sprains occur when ligaments, muscles, and tendons stretch or tear. Kids can suffer these injuries when they lose their balance while jumping, fall out of the bounce house, get crushed by another kid, or land hard on their ankles or wrists.
  • Cuts, Scrapes, and Bruises: These injuries are relatively mild and usually occur when children fall out of the bounce house and land on the soil or concrete.
  • Head Injuries: Falling out of a bounce house or getting hit by another child can lead to a concussion, ranging from mild to severe, depending on the impact force. Similarly, children can suffer neck sprains or fractures from the same incidents.
  • Broken Bones: Fractures are usually the most severe injuries in most bounce house incidents. They can occur when a child falls out or gets crushed by other children.
  • Heat Stroke and Dehydration: Outdoor temperatures can get relatively hot on a sunny day. The temperature is even hotter inside a bounce house, leading to dehydration and heat stroke, especially if the structure is crowded.
  • Suffocation: Deflating bounce houses can suffocate a child if they are not pulled out quickly. These inflatable structures are made of heavy-duty PVC or vinyl, meaning they are relatively heavy and difficult to move when deflated.
  • Death: An inflatable bounce house can become deadly for any reason, such as when the strong wind picks it up or deflates it, topples it on its side, or causes a child to get thrown outside.

Bystanders can also get hurt when a bounce house gets ripped off the ground and flies in the wind.

What Are Your Legal Options After a Bounce House Injury?

If your child suffers a bounce house injury, you could take legal action if someone else’s negligence caused it. Liable parties may include:

  • The rental company
  • The person who installed the bounce house
  • Whoever was responsible for supervising the children, e.g., another parent
  • A school, event management company, property owner, etc.

To file a legal claim, you must prove the following are true:

  1. The defendant owed a duty of care to your child. The primary defendant should be legally obliged to protect your child from injury. For instance, if the defendant is the rental company, they should have ensured that the attendants were keeping a close watch on the children.
  2. The defendant breached this duty of care. You must show that the defendant acted negligently at the time of the accident, e.g., failed to install the bouncy house properly.
  3. Your child suffered a significant injury. You can prove that your child suffered substantial physical or emotional harm through medical records. Additionally, you can show proof of your financial losses as a family.
  4. The defendant’s actions directly led to your losses. Finally, you must demonstrate causation between the defendant’s negligence and your family’s losses.

What Evidence Do You Need?

Collecting substantial evidence against responsible parties is one of the most critical steps in filing a claim. Viable forms of proof may include:

  • Medical records
  • Photos of injuries
  • Incident reports
  • Police reports
  • Wind and weather reports
  • Videos of the accident
  • Documentation of the accident scene
  • Witness accounts
  • Expert testimony

What Damages Can You Recover?

If someone else’s negligence hurt your child, your bounce house injury lawyer could pursue the following damages:

  • Medical Bills: Out-of-pocket costs for emergency transportation, hospitalization, surgery, medication, therapy, etc.
  • Disability: Mobility aid expenses, physical rehabilitation costs, and other related damages if your child becomes temporarily or permanently disabled.
  • Lost Wages: Income and benefits lost while caring for your child.
  • Pain and Suffering: Financial compensation for your child and family’s physical and emotional injuries, such as physical pain, emotional trauma, stress, mental anguish, etc.
  • Loss of Quality of Life: Financial compensation for quality or enjoyment of life lost due to the accident.
  • Wrongful Death: Funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical expenses, grief, and other related damages if your child dies due to the accident.
  • Punitive Damages: Additional compensation is used to punish the defendant for severe levels of negligence.

How Can You Protect Your Kids in Bounce Houses

The researchers from the University of Georgia created Weather to Bounce to provide safety tips for families wanting to use bounce houses. We’ve compiled their most essential recommendations (plus some of our own) for safe bounce house use below:

  • Check Weather Conditions and Wind Speeds. Weather-wise, it doesn’t take much wind to move a bounce house or take it off its anchors, meaning good weather conditions and clear skies don’t necessarily mean safe. Check advisories from the National Weather Service (NWS) and see if there are warnings of strong winds or cold fronts. Prof. Gill from the University of Texas at El Paso stresses evacuating and deflating bounce houses should the wind pick up. Inflatable devices should not be used when the wind speeds are at 25 mph unless installed by a professional engineer, warns Prof. John Knox.
  • Install Properly. Anchor the bounce house to a flat surface, preferably hard ground, away from tree branches to prevent it from getting swept away by the wind. Have a professional do it if you are unsure what to do.
  • Supervise. Keep an eye on the children, especially those of different ages. Discourage flips and other dangerous stunts to avoid mishaps. Moreover, check periodically if the bounce house is still in its original shape; evacuate the children if it starts to lose air.
  • Call it Off. Bounce houses are fun and somewhat expensive to rent or buy. But if wind speeds pick up or the outdoor temperature is too hot, don’t hesitate to put off the event for another day.

Talk to Our Chicago Bounce House Injury Lawyer Today

Bounce houses can cause serious injury or even death when they are not appropriately secured or someone is not paying attention. Regardless of the cause, innocent children are the ones to suffer.

If your child was injured in a bounce house incident, you could file a personal injury claim to recover the compensation you deserve. The Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC attorneys can help you and your family navigate the legal process and seek justice for your child.

Contact our personal injury law firm at (888) 424-5757 or use the contact form for a free case consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.

Our lawyers handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis. You don’t have to pay our legal fees unless we win your case.


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