The presence of a bounce-y house/castle may have been the sign of a good party when you were a child, but the latest in childhood-party research seems to indicate that those inflatable moments of joy — apparently more popular than ever — now point to serious moments of injury. A new study in the journal Pediatrics has found that, in 2010, 31 children were treated each day in United States emergency departments for "inflatable bouncer-related" injuries. That, by the authors' calculations, equals a child every 46 minutes nationally. So settle down, watch a network television drama without commercials, and by the time you're done, another kid will have probably gotten hurt in a bounce house. The most common form of bouncer injuries are fractures and strains or sprains, and injuries were most commonly caused by falls.
Also, the number of bounce injuries has gone up in recent years. The study found that the number of injuries among kids 17 years old or younger increased from 5,345 in 2008 to 11,311 in 2010. The authors say the reason for the increase is "unknown" but they speculate that reasons could include increased use of the houses or changes to their design.