Bounce houses are the stuff of every kid's dreams, situated right at the top of the spectrum of fun alongside candy, carnival rides, and Christmas toys. Parents rent inflatables for birthday parties and other events providing kids a surefire way to have a blast all day long.
While they can be a source of fun and entertainment for children, inflatables can still be dangerous for children and can lead to serious injuries if certain precautions aren't taken. According to research, over the past 20 years, the number of injuries related to bounce houses in the United States has skyrocketed and now equals more than 30 children a day, or about one child every 45 minutes.
Here are a few basic safety and injury-prevention tips parents and guardians need to follow to keep their kids safe.
1. Supervision is Paramount
Never allow children to occupy the bounce house without an adult present. Bouncing kids need to be monitored carefully. If things start to get a bit too rough or risky inside, a supervising adult can calm things down.
In addition, the number of kids inside the house must be limited: overcrowding is a good recipe for falls, collisions, fractures, and other injuries. If more than one child will be on the bouncer at the same time, make sure that the children are about the same age and size (weight).
2. Workmanship and Liability
Before you rent inflatable units, ask the rental company questions as to how they are installed. Some companies will practice safer installation methods than others. The inflatable house should be placed on a flat surface and anchored to the ground with large, 20 to 40-inch metal stakes rather than smaller plastic ones. There should be sufficient open space around all sides of the bouncer and it should be placed away from tree branches and power lines.
3. Weather Conditions
When extreme weather hits, all participants need to be removed from the bounce house. This includes strong winds, a downpour of heavy rain, thunder and lightning. Even with stakes on the ground or cement buckets, bounce houses need to be deflated and should not be operated during strong winds higher than 25mph and other extreme weather. Without these precautionary measures, an experience no parent wants to face; can happen in the blink of an eye. One moment your child is playing and having a good time, the next they are terrified and in great danger.
Recently in South Florida three children were injured when the bounce house they were in was lifted into the air by a waterspout and carried above the tree line and across four lanes of traffic. The children were dumped out of the bounce house onto the sand shortly after it was airborne. In this case, the children luckily escaped with relatively minor injuries including bumps, bruises and only a few broken bones. It could've easily been much worse for these families.
With five offices throughout Florida, our accident and injury lawyers are here to help you. We only handle injury cases and we do all of the work for you, looking out for your best interests.
If a loved one has been hurt or injured in an accident, please call Rubenstein Law at 1-800-FL-LEGAL. We have offices in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Broward and West Palm Beach.