Brenda Sanderson let her two sons enjoy using a bounce house at a graduation party earlier this summer, but two days later she noticed some unusual marks on her 10-year-old’s body, My Fox Boston reported.
“He said 'well mommy I think it's from sliding around bouncing around the bouncy house. I think I just got burned from the plastic,'” she said. Sanderson put some antibacterial ointment on the injury, but she says the marks grew — one became an open sore. "It was oozing and when it was oozing it spreads ... he said they were hurt to touch,” she said.
Sanderson took her son to a doctor, who diagnosed him with a staph infection, which can be fatal in some cases. Sanderson’s doctor told her the bounce house was likely to blame.
"It is like a wrestling mat,” the unidentified doctor reportedly told Sanderson. “Staph infections come from a gym or something that's not being washed or cleansed properly will start to create a bacteria.”
Although Massachusetts state officials do inspect bounce houses, they usually check for safety rather than cleanliness. Still, Ed Kawa, division chief of the Department of Public Safety, said the owners are responsible. “There is a requirement for keeping the devices clean.”
The National Institutes of Health notes Staphylococcus bacteria is spread by skin-to-skin contact as well as touching infected surfaces. Though many healthy people have staph on their bodies, the bacteria can enter through a break in the skin.