Free-Range Kids

Are Bounce Houses Killing Our Kids? You Can't Be too Careful, Says Study

Think of the children.



Are bouncy houses killing lots of kids? Well, you don't see summer carnivals littered with lifeless little bounced-out bodies. Nonetheless, it's a question the University of Georgia felt compelled to study—on your dime.

In a paper titled, "Do Inflatable Bounce Houses Pose Heat-related Hazards to Children?" published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, scholars in the Peach State determined that the inside of bouncy houses can get… wait for it… hot. Hotter than the weather outside.

And so, reports this article from Science Daily:

Heat safety issues in bounce houses can put children in danger, according to a new University of Georgia study.

Expanding on the concept of microclimates like those in parked vehicles that cause serious injuries to children, the study investigated potential heat-related risks associated with bounce houses, which create a microclimate environment similar to automobiles but one that had not been previously examined.

Let's hope this is just the tip of the heat-berg. There are so many childhood "microclimates" that have not been previously examined! Think of all the kids getting dangerously sweaty in their krav maga classes. And what of the heat they're cruelly exposed to at marshmallow roasts? And hopscotch in the direct sun? Each square is a potential inferno!

But of course, all that pales in comparison to the danger of bouncy houses.

The professor in charge of the study, Andrew Grundstein, reminds us that, "Heat illnesses like heat stroke can be deadly and occur in children participating in sports, left alone in parked cars, and as our study shows, potentially when playing in bounce houses."

He's so right. Kids can potentially die pretty much anywhere, even "participating in sports." Why haven't we prohibited sports yet either?

While not proposing any actual bounce house regulations, Grundstein is warning parents to be on the lookout for signs of overheating kids when they are "active on hot and humid days."

Active kids in the summer = bad.

And how will us clueless parents know if our kids have overdone it? One sign, according to Grundstein, is "flushed, moist skin."

Yes, once a kid's skin is flushed and moist, all bets are off.

Kudos to the University of Georgia scientists for spending their research time so wisely. It's amazing how we overlooked a danger simply because there was no evidence of it actually hurting anyone.

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  1. So does this rocket scientist at U of Ga think that babies who are locked in hot cars (because you know, they are babies and can’t get out of their car seat or open the door) is the same as 6 year olds who are playing in a bouncy house that (wait for it) DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A DOOR ON IT? Much less a lock.

    “Mommy, I want to come out now.”

    1. Yeah, the conversation tends to go more like “Other kids need a turn too. Get your ass out, before I drag it out.”

      1. this is the land of McMansions but we can’t afford sufficiently large bouncehouses?

  2. Lenore is losing her grip on control. Her sarcasm is beginning to drip from her articles. I am impressed she has stayed as calm as she has for this long covering the free range beat. I gave up not mocking the morons years ago.

    1. losing her grip on control.

      Losing her grip on her grip?

  3. “You Can’t Be too Careful”

    Adults with severe allergies because of a lack of childhood exposure to the environment disagree.

    1. Adults with severe allergies because of a lack of childhood exposure to the environment disagree.

      I’d be super impressed if you were able to prove that “because.”

  4. I doubt it, but they’re a great way for disposing of bodies.

  5. Think about the following:
    1) This was published in the journal of the American Meteorological Society. Microclimates?
    2) The “scientist” is a professor of GEOGRAPHY??? WTF?
    3) Kids who are old enough to play in a play house, can get in or out whenever they want to, unlike a baby in a locked car.
    4) So a rubber inflated house at peak temperature gets 7 degrees hotter than the outside temperature. Based on 1 day in July for 5 hours of measurements. Most of us could have guessed this within plus or minus a degree.
    5)1 day for 5 hours hardly consitutes “experiments”

    We have reached the point where academics are bored and are just looking for shit to do.

    1. We have reached the point where academics are bored and are just looking for shit to do.grants to be rubber stamped

    2. We’re at the point where most of the basic research has already been done and academics have to study increasingly narrow topics. Remember that to earn a PhD one must “make an original contribution to human knowledge.” So, expect more and more of this, all on your dime.

      1. Yeah, I am the recent recipient of a PhD and believe me, even as an engineer the idea that we were contributing in a meaningful way to the entirety of human knowledge was a source of amusement among the grad students. Most people treated it as a prestige internship. Meet the right people and add some journal papers to your resume, and eventually you can get a professor job or oil industry research gig and a certificate claiming you increased mankind’s knowledge.

  6. Why haven’t we prohibited sports yet either?

    It’s not like this isn’t creeping up on us.

    1. I was at a stoplight by a park a few months ago and happened to notice that every single participant of a youth softball game being played was wearing a face-mask, including the fielders. I think the plan is to just convince the kids not to want to play anymore.

    2. Well, no headers in youth soccer anymore.

  7. bouncy houses

    I insist that the term “Jump Castle” be made the standard nomenclature here, to ensure no confusion with my preferred euphemism for establishments of prostitution.

  8. Nothing left to cut.

  9. I’m not looking forward to the safety freaks I’ll meet as my son grows up

  10. Lenore Skenazy is full of awesome.

  11. And hopscotch in the direct sun? On Asphalt? Why not just bacon-wrap your kids before letting them outside, you negligent. fucking. monsters.

    1. wait, wait, wait, what was I thinking, YOU LET YOUR KIDS OUTSIDE?!??!!!!

      1. It’s okay, we have leashes for that.

  12. Urban heat islands create warmer microclimates. Ban cities ? for the children!

  13. I guess everyone should just be encased in a protective cocoon from birth until death just to make sure that nothing bad happens to them.

    You can never be too careful.

    1. Why permit them to be born in the first place? Ban reproduction, It’s for the children!

    2. You know what they say.


  14. It’s called a moon walk.

    1. I’ve heard moonbounce before, but never walk. I suppose you call soda something stupid regionally eclectic too?

      1. moon bubble juice, what of it?

        1. deepdish bouncewater or GTFO.


    2. Which is totally confusing. Bouncy house is an intuitive term for this thing; moonwalk not so much.

    3. I’m from MN, and dog knows we have some weird colloquialisms (“You betchya, let’s play some duck duck grey duck! Ufda!”), but “moonwalk”? That’s shit Michael Jackson did in the 80’s.

  15. I’ve never been so glad to be an empty-nester. This kind of crap is my kids’ problem now.

    1. Yeah, you got no skin in the game. Time for you to get in the trenches and adopt some kids you selfish bastard. The village will be there to assist as needed and not needed/wanted.

      1. Mrs. Animal and I raised four daughters, and I am living testament to Harshaw’s Law, which states “daughters can spend ten percent more than a man can earn in any normal occupation.”

        I’ve done my bit for humanity. Now I’m just hoping for humanity to leave me the fuck alone.

  16. our kids

    I don’t have any, but thanks.

    1. Now, now, juice: it takes a village to raise an idiot.

  17. I got really hot the last time I was in a bouncy house. So I got out and took off my suit and tie.

    1. I stopped wearing clothes in the bouncy house for that very same reason.

  18. There is another school in Georgia that does real science.

    Nothing good comes out of Athens.

    1. Drive-By Truckers beg to differ

      1. They’re really from Florence, Alabama.

        Um, Widespread Panic beg to differ.

        The girls are pretty hot out of stinktown.

    2. Not an REM fan either I see.

  19. The bigger problem the bounce houses that are underwater. Thanks to bounce subprimes, there are a lot of bounce homeowners who have no bounce equity in their bounce real estate, and many are in fore bounce closure. All they can hope for is a bounce in the market.

    1. Kinda stretching it

    2. don’t neglect inflation’s contribution to the problem.

  20. Why haven’t the parents of the kid killed on the KC water slide been charged yet?

    1. Because dad is a Senator.

      1. My bad.

      2. Not a real Senator, just a state one.

  21. Shouldn’t parents be more worried about the bounce house blowing away because that seems to happen fairly frequently.

  22. This calls for a Czar of Bouncy Houses

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