Bounce house play lands child in surgery

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MESA, Ariz -- Sprains, fractured bones and even concussions. We're not talking about sports injuries, but injuries more and more kids are suffering during play.

While it looks like harmless fun, for one East Valley child playing in an inflatable bounce house turned into a serious injury. Chuck Anderson is a grandfather of 6-year-old Jordan.

"Next thing I know he's flying through the air and he starts screaming," said Anderson.

Jordan was just 4 years old when he broke his arm in a bounce house.

"Two other big kids came in there and they bounce and I flew up and I landed straight on my arm," Jordan said.

"It looked horrible, he had an L-shaped arm," Anderson explained.

Jordan's break was so serious, doctors at Phoenix Children's Hospital put his arm in a cast.

"They took him right up to surgery and put two pins in him in his arm to hold the bone together," said Anderson.

Doctors say kids are especially vulnerable because if the bone breaks at a certain spot the injury can become more severe.

Dr. Greg White is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Phoenix Children's Hospital.

"In a growing child there are these areas at the end of the bone called growth plates where the bones grow and sometimes significant injuries can occur to the growth areas of the bone," explained Dr. White.

Rachel Anderson is Jordan's mom.

"It was so close to his growth plate that if we had messed it up then we would have had more trouble in the long run," Rachel Anderson said.

According to a recent report in The Journal Pediatrics, between 1990 and 2010, 65,000 children
were injured in inflatable bouncers. The most common injuries were strains and sprains.

"The problem with the bounce house and the trampolines is that the nets or around it keep the kids in so they kind of ping pong ball off the sides and they get out of control because there are other kids bouncing them around and they fall awkwardly and that's when they hurt themselves,"  said Dr. White.

Experts recommend children should at least be 6 years old before being allowed to play in a bounce house and only one child should play at a time. But if that's not feasible, make sure kids are all similar in size.

Now 6 years old, Jordan's scars serve as a permanent reminder of the pain he endured that day.

Since then, he hasn't been too tempted to climb into another bounce house.

"I know I would break my arm again," Jordan remarked.

Rachel Anderson can't bring herself to allow her son to go in again.

"I can't risk it. I can't run the risk of him getting hurt again," she stated.