Inflatable bounce houses source of many injuries

It's a backyard birthday party favorite, but a new report shows bounce houses are the source of an alarming number of children's injuries.

On average, 31 children a day are transported to U.S. emergency departments for treatment of bounce-house injuries, including fractured bones and muscle damage, the study found.

The average patient was between seven and eight years old. The most common injuries were fractures, strains, or sprains.

Dr. Gary A. Smith is director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. He says children should be at least six years old if they play in bounce houses. Adults should always supervise, and ideally only one child should be inside at a time. If that's not feasible, children should be of similar age and size, Smith said.

Study authors suggest better design and better guidelines may prevent injuries.