92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Monday, 23 January 2012
Fear of Bouncing: Societal and Scientific Contexts of Wind-Related Bounce House Hazards
Hall E (New Orleans Convention Center )
John A. Knox, Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA; and T. E. Gill and D. J. Novlan

During 2011 alone, at least 10 accidents involving inflatable "bounce houses" or slides have injured more than 40 people across the United States. Many of these accidents have been caused by strong winds lifting the inflatables into the air. Once airborne, bounce houses pose serious risks to children inside them as well as to bystanders who may be hit as the inflatables travel through the air and eventually crash to the ground. In this poster presentation we examine both the societal and scientific contexts for this particular hazard, focusing on the reasons for the inflatables' vulnerability to wind, regulations (or the lack thereof) governing their use, and details on the type and strength of wind phenomena needed to cause bounce houses to go airborne.

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