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How dangerous are inflatable amusement toys?

Everyone can likely remember spending a fun afternoon bouncing around as a child. Whether people were jumping though their yard, at a birthday party or at an amusement park, children love to bounce and play. To help their children expend some energy, many parents turn to inflatable amusement toys, which are flexible air-filled fabric structures. The most common of these structures are known as "bounce houses," or "moon bounces," that are small square structures with four sides. Manufacturers also make other similar structures including obstacle courses, slides and games.

Parents in Illinois expect that products like these are going to be safe for their children. They are, after all, marketed toward kids. But, parents don't often realize just how dangerous these inflatable structures are for children and for everyone else who uses them.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 2003 and 2013, emergency departments across the United States saw more than 113,000 injuries related to inflatable amusement toys. Of these injuries, 61 percent of them between 2011 and 2013- were suffered by children between the ages of four- and 15-years-old. This data showed that the number of injuries due to these structures has been increasing over time.

The injuries found by the study are mostly associated with a person's limbs. Arm and leg injuries accounted for 66 percent of all injuries that occurred between 2003 and 2013. Other injuries includes harm to the head or face, hands, and torso. Most of these injuries, 90 percent, occurred in moon bounces, highlighting just how dangerous they can be. In addition to these injuries, during those years, there were 12 deaths.

Whenever a dangerous children's toy makes it to the market, parents should worry. They need to protect their children from harm. However, when harm has already occurred, parents may need somewhere to turn for legal help. By taking legal action, parents can fight to hold negligent designers and manufacturers responsible for dangerous products and any injuries that occur.

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