Bounce houses are popular at backyard parties, and parents trust that their children will be safe playing in them. But most parents haven’t considered the possibility that bounce houses could be posing any harm outside of broken bones. Brenda Sanderson, parent to a 10-year boy, discovered a potentially fatal hazard hiding inside bounce houses.
At first, her son developed marks on his body. They figured it was just irritation from the plastic being hot. But then the marks spread to the rest of his body and developed into blisters. Her doctor, when she heard where Sanderson’s son had been, determined that it was a staph infection, caused by the invisible bacteria on the plastic surface of the bounce house.
The state of Massachusetts, where Sanderson lives, inspects bounce houses. But they only check for safety, not cleanliness. There is a state requirement that the equipment be kept clean, however. Bounce houses need to be vacuumed, washed, and sanitized with a mild cleanser.
In order to prevent staph infections, you can take precautions. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends washing your hands or showering right after engaging in sports. Pay special attention to any areas of broken skin. One should seek medical attention right away if a sore develops.