Inflatables are everywhere these days, especially in the spring and summer months. They attract kids and parents alike, with fantastic colors and cartoon-like big houses and slides and castles. They are lots of fun for all, but bounce houses can be dangerous when they are not in great condition or not anchored correctly. These scenarios happen nearly every day in the Atlanta area. Your children are invited to a birthday party and the family of the birthday boy or girl have a bounce house set up in the yard. Or you attend a community event with your family and a bounce house is set up … it is a big draw for the kids. Exciting and fun experiences for the kids await, but the dangers are real and parents need to be mindful of them.
Earlier this week, a gust of wind lifted a bounce house into the air with children inside. The bounce house was anchored and set up at a church carnival in South Carolina. Five kids were taken to the hospital, with two kids sustaining serious injuries. Four of the kids are back home, one may still be hospitalized. The family has hired a lawyer to speak on their behalf. It is difficult to imagine the fear those kids felt as they were lifted into the air. It is painful to think about what the parents must have felt watching their children float up and away. All the kids survived. But the house ended up later hitting a power line with no children inside it at the time.
This is a serious matter because injuries from bounce houses and other inflatables have been on the rise for the past two decades. In a ten-year period over 100,000 people have been hurt in these apparatuses. The injuries can be serious and sometimes have been fatal.
So when you arrive at the party or event and a bounce house or other inflatable is set up, what should you look for to keep your kids are safe and free from serious injury? First, if there is any wind in the forecast consider that wind gusts have often caused bounce houses to fly off their anchors. Wind is a major issue in the safe use of these inflatables. If you are uncertain whether the inflatables were provided by a reputable supplier, you might consider another activity in which your child can participate. Walk around the inflatable and check to see that they are securely anchored. They should not be set up near power lines, streets, fences or large trees. Read more about what experts say to keep kids safe when using bounce houses.
If you are hosting a party with inflatables, get them from a supplier who has a track record of safety. Make sure the equipment has been checked regularly. Get the instructions well-ahead of your party and be sure to read the instructions with great care. Setting these up properly is key. Anchoring them and placing them in an unobstructed location are important safety considerations. If you have any questions about how your inflatable has been set up, contact the supplier and send photos of your installation.
Some injuries can be caused by children bumping into one another on purpose. Kids can and have sustained many types of injuries playing this way in bounce houses. It is best for adults to supervise closely what the kids are doing inside the inflatable. Make sure they are told that they must never push another child out of the inflatable. Glasses, shoes and other objects should be left outside the inflatable. It is also very important that children of similar sizes be in the inflatable together. Avoid having bigger kids with smaller kids.
Here at Scholle Law we want all kids and their families to have a happy spring and summer. Making memories with your children is so important. And information is great protection, so be informed about what to look for when your kids are around these inflatables. They are fun for the kids and it is wise to know all the safety measures that can protect your children.