We have all heard the stories of children & pets left in hot cars, but most of us have never really thought about the possible dangers inside of a bouncer on a hot day. A study on the impact of temperature on bounce houses was just published last Thursday in the “Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society”. The study called “Do Inflatable Bounce Houses Pose Heat-related Hazards to Children” was performed last summer by the University of Georgia. The University conducted experiments on wind speeds & temperature among other factors. The researchers found that the temperature inside of a bouncer adds 4-7 degrees to the outside temperatures.
They found that on a 92 degree day the inside temperature of a bouncer was over 100 degrees. Adding in the heat index the inside temperature of the bounce house averaged at 104-117 degrees. Add rigorous activity & it is just a recipe for disaster. The study added that children are more sensitive to heat than adults. The researchers developed a heat index table that factors in the humidity percentage & outside temperature to the inside temperature of the bouncers. The heat index shown below looks like a very helpful tool, & something you might want to consider when allowing children to jump in your bouncers. You can read the whole study here.
Temperatures above 104 degrees pose a serious threat for heat stroke (it can still be a risk under this temperature). Heatstroke is a serious condition that can damage the brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. It can lead to serious injury or death. Symptoms of heat stroke include a high body temperature, nausea/vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart & headache. If a person is suspected of heat stroke the first step should be to call 911. While waiting for the ambulance move the person indoors or in the shade and cool them off with whatever cool water you can find.
The best thing to do of course would be to prevent heat stroke before it happens. Using the chart above to determine if the inside temperature of the bouncer is potentially hazardous could save lives.
- Albany Herald. “University of Georgia Study show heat dangers of inflatable bounce houses.” http://www.albanyherald.com/news/local/university-of-georgia-study-shows-heat-dangers-of-inflatable-bounce/article_9f393de7-48b8-5727-a2f7-c110ce2f7a62.html . August 3, 2016.
- American Meteorological Society. “Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society” http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0103.1
- Mayo Clinic. “Heat Stroke”. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-stroke/basics/definition/con-20032814. July 12, 2014.
Grundstein, A., J. Shepherd, and S. Duzinski, 2016: Do Inflatable Bounce Houses Pose Heat-Related Hazards to Children? Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0103.1, in press.