See Here: Her Son Came Home From A Party With These Strange Marks. When Doctors Revealed The Cause Shocking

By their very nature, bouncy houses should be harmless. They're made of rubber air cushions, exactly the sort of thing people use to soften blows. And they're fun! But incidents and injuries seem to pile up in new and scary ways.

When Brenda Sanderson's sons came home from a graduation party that featured a bouncy house, everything seemed fine and the kids were happy. Two days later, however, some marks appeared on the kids. At first, they thought the wounds were from sliding around on the plastic. But treating the wounds with ointment had no effect; rather, the wounds were growing and spreading, and even began to ooze.

That was Brenda's signal to immediately take her son to the doctor. The doctor asked about recent activities, and when Brenda mentioned the bouncy house at the graduation party, the doctor zeroed in on the cause of the sores: a staph infection.

"It's like a wrestling mat," the doctor said. "Staph infections come from a gym or something that's not being washed or cleansed properly, will start to create a bacteria."

Staph infections are no small matter, and they can spread easily. "Anytime you break the skin you're at risk of some sort of infection," says Dr. Ari Cohen, Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Mass General Hospital. "Staph being the most common and the most talked about. That in and of itself, as long as you wash up any wound after you get it, that should minimize the chance of getting significant infections."

So the next time you rent a bouncy house for your kid's party, you'll want to inquire about their cleaning practices — and maybe wash it down with a mild cleaner yourself before letting a troop of kids jump up and get down.


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