Safer Bounce Houses on the Horizon

In the news last week was this item: a bounce house caught a gust of wind, and took off, carrying two kids, one of whom was injured when the bounce house landed on a neighbors’ roof.

We can’t stop the wind, but bounce house makers can eliminate risks to children from high levels of lead in the vinyl they use to make their products. And that’s exactly what’s required, under the legal agreement that two of the country’s leading makers of bounce houses signed yesterday.

The Center for Environmental Health found high levels of lead in many bounce houses last year. Vinyl, a poison plastic used to make bounce houses, can often contain high levels of lead (as CEH found in previous investigations of vinyl baby bibs, children’s lunchboxes, jewelry, and other products).

Last summer, along with the California attorney general, we brought legal action against the major producers of bounce houses. Yesterday, the two leading bounce house makers, Ninja Jump and Einflatables (Funtastic Factory, Inc) agreed to eliminate the lead risks to children.

The companies also agreed to test their older bounce houses, which are mostly purchased by small rental companies. Certain bounce houses, if found with high lead levels, may be replaced or the purchaser may be offered a discount on a new model.