A sharp gust of wind turned bounce-house fun into a danger chamber for two small children who were slightly injured when the inflatable enclosure was tossed hundreds of feet across a field during a lacrosse game in Colorado.
It was the second recent high-profile accident involving a bounce house, designed to allow children to have a thrilling playtime experience by bouncing up and down in a contained space. In the incident last month in South Glens Fall, N.Y., two young boys were seriously injured when they fell from the enclosure that had been caught in a wind gust that blew them as much as 50 feet into the air. A young girl was slightly injured.
The Colorado incident took place Saturday at a lacrosse game in Littleton. Witness Desiree Hunter described watching the structure tumble across the field “like a bag in the wind,” KUSA reported.
“We saw the wind kicking up and all of a sudden the wind took the jumpy slide with it and we were just horrified,” witness Vanessa Atencio told “Good Morning America.”
Two 10-year-old children were trapped inside the bouncy castle-shaped toy. Both were slightly injured.
Fire officials told reporters that the inflatable castle became detached from the compressor that keeps it full of air. As the bounce house started to deflate, a strong gust of wind came through and sent the castle rolling as far as 300 feet away.
The bounce house in upstate New York went airborne on May 12. A 10-year-old girl tumbled out immediately but two boys remained inside as the house flew into the air. Two boys ages 6 and 5 fell out of the enclosure when it was 15 to 20 feet off the ground.
The 6-year-old broke both arms and suffered facial injuries and was released after being treated at a hospital. The 5-year-old remains hospitalized.
A study published in 2012 in the journal Pediatrics suggested that 31 children a day in 2010 were treated in emergency rooms for broken bones, sprains and cuts from injuries in bounce-house accidents. That is the equivalent of one injured child every 46 minutes, according to the study.