Report shows more bounce-related injuries

Business is blowing up at Jumpin Joey’s in Davenport.

“Because of that you’re going to have some accidents,” said Joe Van Hecke, the owner.

From Dora to Spongebob, there’s something for everyone when it comes to inflatable bounce houses.

But, the big air-filled castles and slides are once again the subject of scrutiny.

A report released this week from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says the number of children age 17 and younger who got emergency room treatment for bounce house injuries has climbed from fewer than 1,000 in 1995 to nearly 11,000 in 2010.

Van Hecke hasn’t seen much of that.

“In seven years, we’ve had one broken toe at Eisenhower School and that was it,” said Van Hecke.

One problem, he says, is that there isn’t much oversight in terms of who can sell inflatables.

But, he says, inspectors do come out yearly to look at his equipment.

“They look for the blowers not to have any electrical problems and then they look for no tears in the actual bounce houses,” he said.

Van Hecke does all he can to make sure renters know the proper safety precautions.

“We tell them to stake them down properly, to supervise them properly and to keep an eye out on the weather.”

Keeping age groups separate is also important.

“Be vigilant on who’s in the bounce house and who’s doing what.”

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