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Boy in coma after fall from airborne bounce house; Cuomo issues safety alert

A Little Tikes bounce house, similar to this one, was lifted into the air by a wind gust. Three children were injured, two seriously, after falling from the structure.
Mark Evans/Flickr CC-BY

A South Glens Falls, N.Y. boy, who fell from a bounce house Monday, is in a medically induced coma, according to a Wednesday Glens Falls Post Star report. The boy is one of three children who were playing in the Little Tikes inflatable structure when a gust of wind swept it into the air over a parking lot. Two boys, ages 5 and 6, were admitted to Albany Medical Center with serious injuries after falling at least 15 feet to the pavement.

South Glens Falls Chief of Police Kevin Judd told the Post Star that the 6-year-old boy landed on a parked car, then fell to the pavement. He suffered a serious head injury. The younger boy suffered several broken bones and possibly a ruptured spleen. Both boys are in stable condition. A third victim, a 10-year-old girl, tumbled from the structure at a lower height and suffered minor injuries. The names of the children were not released.

The incident prompted Governor Andrew Cuomo to release a safety alert yesterday urging parents to use extreme caution with inflatable toy houses and, “… carefully follow the instructions and keep kids off them on windy days.” According to the Post Star, police found evidence that the renegade bounce house was anchored with six plastic spikes, and witnesses confirmed the toy was secured to the ground. The bounce house owner reports he has used the inflatable toy for several years without incident. Witnesses report that a sudden gust of wind, on an otherwise calm day, tore the structure from its moorings.

Little Tikes, the manufacturer, has not issued a statement concerning the South Glens Falls incident. A 2012 study published in Pediatrics found that bounce house injuries are increasing. Data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System shows that between 1990 and 2010, nearly 65,000 bounce house-related injuries were reported. More than a quarter of these injuries were fractured bones.

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