A bouncy house blew away, seriously injuring two children in South Glen Falls, New York. Authorities said the children were inside the inflatable house when it was struck with a strong gust of wind. Witnesses estimate the playhouse was launched nearly 50 feet into the air.
Although three children were inside the bouncy house, a 10-year-old girl fell out before it blew away. Authorities said she suffered minor injuries. However, she did not require hospitalization.
As the playhouse soared into the air, two boys, ages 5 and 6, remained inside. When it reached heights of approximately 20 feet, the children fell out and crashed to the ground.
As reported by WNTY News, Taylor Seymour witnessed the tragedy:
“It dropped off the first little kid in the middle of the road, then it came the other way, it passed over my apartment, it dropped the second one, he hit his head on the back of my car and then he fell to the ground.”
Both boys were hospitalized, as they were serious injured in the incident. Post Star reports that both of the 5-year-old’s arms were broken. He also suffered injury to his face. The six-year-old was diagnosed with a traumatic head injury.
South Glens Falls Police Patrolman David Gifford said the children’s current condition is unknown. However, both boys are reportedly “conscious and alert.”
After the boys were ejected, strong winds continued to carry the bouncy house through the woods before it eventually landed on the roof of a two-story building. The owner of the inflatable was not identified by name. Although he has used the bouncy house on numerous occasions, this is the first time anyone was injured.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission confirmed that the accident was not uncommon. The agency estimates that inflatable playhouses are responsible for thousands of injuries every year. It is unclear how many injuries are caused by bouncy houses that blow away.
Research suggests 65,000 children were injured in bounce houses between 1990 and 2010. The study, which was published by the journal Pediatrics, concluded that common injuries include fractures, strains, sprains, cuts, and bruises. As reported by Eagle Grove Pharmacy, a majority of bouncy house injuries are caused by falls and collisions with other children.
Little Tikes, who manufactured the inflatable toy, expressed their condolences in an official statement:
“Providing safe and wholesome outdoor play experiences is of utmost important to Little Tikes… Our thoughts and prayers are with the children and their families.”
It is unclear whether the tragedy was caused by human error or a defect in the playhouse’s construction. Officials are currently investigating exactly what caused the bouncy house to blow away.