Injury Research and Policy Inflatable Bounces Research :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Inflatable Bouncer Safety

Inflatable bouncers, such as bounce houses and moon walks, are popular at children’s birthday parties and summer carnivals. While they can be a source of fun and entertainment for children, inflatable bouncers can also lead to serious injuries, such as broken bones and concussions. In the past 20 years, the number of injuries associated with inflatable bouncers treated in hospital emergency departments in the U.S. has skyrocketed, and now equals more than 30 children a day, or about one child every 45 minutes.

Injury Prevention Tips

  • Limit bouncer use to children 6 years of age and older.
  • Only allow a bouncer to be used when an adult trained on safe bouncer use is present.
  • The safest way to use a bouncer is to have only one child on it at a time.
  • If more than one child will be on the bouncer at the same time, make sure that the children are about the same age and size (weight).

Proper Use

  • Take off shoes, eyeglasses and jewelry and remove all sharp objects from your pockets before entering the bouncer.
  • No rough play, tumbling, wrestling or flips. Stay away from the entrance or exit and the sides or walls of the bouncer while you are inside of it.
  • If the bouncer begins to lose air, stop play and carefully exit the bouncer.

Setting Up an Inflatable Bouncer

Outside set up:

  • Place the bouncer on a flat surface.
  • Remove all rocks, sticks or objects such as sprinkler systems sticking up from the ground before setting up the bouncer.
  • Make sure there is open space around all sides of the bouncer.
  • Place the bouncer away from tree branches or power lines.
  • If the bouncer will be set up on a hard surface, place a soft surface around the entrance/exit to the bouncer.


Inside set up:

  • Only set up bouncers in rooms where the ceiling is several feet above the top of the bouncer.
  • Place the bouncer away from walls.
  • If the bouncer will be set up in a room with hard floors, place a soft surface around the entrance/exit to the bouncer.

Content provided by the Child Injury Prevention Alliance.

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