Bounce houses may put kids at risk of heat stroke

New York, Aug 2 (IANS) The inflatable bouncy castles could be ideal for amusing kids, but during a hot summer day they may put children at risk of heat stroke, researchers have warned.

The temperature inside a bounce house could be greater than the outside temperatures on a summer day, the findings showed.

Expanding on the concept of microclimates like those in parked vehicles that cause serious injuries to children, the study investigated potential heat-related risks associated with bounce houses, which create a microclimate environment similar to automobiles.

The study examined specific research questions that compared temperature and moisture conditions inside the bounce house to ambient outdoor conditions, and whether such differences might reach levels that pose health risks.

“Heat illnesses like heat stroke can be deadly and occur in children participating in sports, left alone in parked cars, and as our study shows, potentially when playing in bounce houses,” said co-author of the study Andrew Grundstein, Professor of Geography at University of Georgia in the US.

“Children are more sensitive to heat than adults and parents need to carefully watch their children for signs of overheating when active on hot and humid days. Signs there is a problem may include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and flushed, moist skin,” Grundstein said.

The findings are based on experiments with a bounce house on the University of Georgia campus in July 2015, with weather conditions representative of a typical summer day in the area.

Over a five-hour period of measurements, researchers found that air temperatures inside the bounce house were consistently greater than ambient conditions.

The findings were published in the online edition of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

–IANS

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