A 2-year-old boy was killed on Saturday when a bounce house in Casa Grande, Ariz., was picked up by a strong gust of wind and flew into a neighboring lot.

The child was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Another child who had been in the bounce house was treated at a hospital with non-life-threatening injures.

Whether called a bounce house, a bouncy castle or a moon bounce, those inflatable structures are a popular fixture at fairs and birthday parties.

But are bounce houses safe?

The headlines reflecting their dangers pop up from time to time, particularly after deadly accidents: an 8-year-old died in Spain in 2022, and five children were killed in Australia in 2021. A 2022 University of Georgia study found 28 bounce house deaths worldwide since 2000 in wind-related incidents.

Many more thousands of children are injured in bounce houses every year, although many of those incidents are caused by collisions or falls rather than wind. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated in 2015 that there were roughly 10,000 emergency room visits annually in the United States are related to bounce house accidents.

“What could go wrong?” John Knox, the lead author of the study, said in an interview with the University of Georgia’s website. “The answer is that it could blow away in winds that are not anywhere near severe levels. Some of these cases were in purely clear skies.”


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