Are Yard Inflatables Dangerous for Kids?

Inflatable Yard Decorations: Festive Fun or Hidden Hazards?

In recent years, inflatable holiday yard decorations have soared in popularity. Their ease of setup, affordability, and eye-catching designs make them an attractive choice for homeowners looking to spread holiday cheer. These larger-than-life ornaments bring a touch of magic to the neighborhood and often serve as the focal point for community celebrations.

While inflatable holiday yard decorations undoubtedly add festive charm to the holiday season, it’s crucial to approach their use with caution. Homeowners should prioritize safety when setting up these decorations, ensuring they are securely anchored and following manufacturer guidelines.

Cases of Dangerous Inflatables

Inflatable amusements like bounce houses and moonwalks may initially appear harmless, especially when children are involved in the fun. Yet, lurking beneath their playful façade lies a considerable risk factor that can lead to serious injuries. Even the safest toys possess some inherent dangers, and shockingly, thousands of children find themselves in emergency rooms each year due to inflatable-related mishaps, with the numbers steadily on the rise.

Adding to this growing concern is the peril posed by improperly secured inflatables or their use in windy conditions. These can launch children into the air, subjecting them to devastating consequences upon return to the ground. Harrowing incidents involving bounce houses have made headlines. In New York, two young boys aged 5 and 6 sustained severe injuries when they were forcefully catapulted 15 feet into the air, with one landing on concrete and the other on a car. In Colorado, two children were injured when the slide and bounce house they were playing in took an unexpected flight.

While these incidents may initially appear as rare exceptions, a study published in the esteemed journal Pediatrics revealed an unsettling trend in bounce house injuries, with over 11,000 reported cases in 2010 alone. Researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy meticulously scrutinized emergency room records spanning the years 1995 to 2010. Their findings were alarming: an average of 31 children required treatment daily for a range of injuries stemming from inflatables, including broken bones, dental injuries, neck and back trauma, concussions, sprains, cuts, and abrasions. What’s noteworthy is that most injuries resulted from collisions between jumpers, rather than falls inside or out of the inflatable.

5 Potential Dangers Lurking in Inflatable Decorations

While inflatable holiday yard decorations may appear harmless, it’s essential to recognize the potential dangers they can pose. Several factors contribute to the risks associated with these holiday adornments:

  1. Improper Setup: Inflatable decorations must be securely anchored to the ground to prevent them from toppling over or becoming airborne. Failure to do so can result in accidents, especially during windy conditions.
  2. Electrical Hazards: Many inflatables require electricity to stay inflated, which means the use of extension cords and electrical connections. These can create tripping hazards or pose electrocution risks if not used correctly.
  3. Inflation and Deflation: The process of inflating and deflating these decorations can sometimes lead to accidents, such as pinched fingers or limbs caught in fans or zippers.
  4. Visibility Issues: Overly large inflatables can obstruct drivers’ views, potentially causing accidents in neighborhoods with heavy traffic.
  5. Decoration Clutter: When several neighbors decorate their yards with inflatables, it can create a cluttered and crowded environment, increasing the risk of accidents and tripping hazards.

Liability for Inflatable-Related Injuries

From a legal perspective, responsibility for injuries resulting from inflatable holiday yard decorations may fall on various parties:

  • Homeowners: Those who set up these decorations on their property must ensure they are anchored securely, follow safety guidelines, and take precautions to prevent accidents. Homeowners’ insurance may cover liability in case of injuries.
  • Manufacturers: If a defect in the inflatable decoration leads to an accident, the manufacturer may be held liable for any resulting injuries.
  • Property Owners’ Associations: In some cases, homeowners’ associations may have rules and regulations governing the use of inflatables, and they may share liability for injuries if they fail to enforce these rules.
  • Event Organizers: If inflatables are part of a community or public event, event organizers may share liability for injuries that occur on their premises.

If your child has suffered an injury from an outdoor inflatable, it’s imperative to determine who is responsible for the damages. We encourage you to reach out to our dedicated team. We are here to answer your questions and help you navigate the path to recovery from these unfortunate incidents. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance; your child’s safety and well-being are our top priorities.