Bouncy castles are fun, colourful, and pretty much every kid’s dream. But mums and dads are becoming increasingly aware of their dangers. As bouncy playgrounds have gained popularity over the past few years, so too are bouncy castle risks coming to light.
In 2015, three children in Florida were injured after a bouncy house got caught in a tornado. In 2016, a seven-year-old girl named Summer Grant died after a bouncy castle was blown away by strong winds with her still in it.
Despite weather warnings that there would be violent winds on that day, the inflatable fairground still put up the bouncy castle.
Witnesses at the fair that day recall the bouncy castle tipping over and rolling as it flew up really high — or about 50 feet, as some estimate — due to strong winds.
Workers at the fair were arrested, but they have since denied the charges of manslaughter by gross negligence.
Incidents worldwide reinforce bouncy castle risks: A similar incident happened in the U.S. where three kids were inside a bouncy castle as it flew away. | Image source: Twitter
More and More Parents Are Becoming Aware of Bouncy Castle Risks
As of 2012, about 30 children in the United States alone are treated in hospitals due to bouncy castle-related injuries. In the U.K., about 10,000 injuries due to bouncy castle accidents are recorded each year.
Just recently, a Singapore mum warned other parents about bouncy castle risks. According to her post, mum Joanna Shen took her toddler daughter to Art-zoo, an inflatable playground. But what was supposed to be a day of fun turned out to be a terrifying day for the mum.
As they were about to go down a slide, a staff member told her she and her daughter had to slide separately. So she let her daughter go ahead of her. Towards the bottom of the slide, her daughter tumbled over and then started crying in pain.
To her horror, her daughter’s left arm was broken. She had to be rushed to the hospitals where her broken bones had to be fastened together by a wire. It would take over a month before her little one would recover.
So whether you’re headed to a fairground or are planning to have one set up for your child’s next birthday, it’s important to be aware of bouncy castle risks to help your kid truly enjoy playtime without fear.
How to Protect Your Kids from Bouncy Castle Risks
Image source: iStock
1. Teach your kids about safe zones
Bouncy castles are built differently and some can deflate over time. Because of this, they can easily tip over or come untethered. Make sure kids know to stay in the middle and avoid the walls or corners.
2. Watch your kids closely
Always have an adult overseeing kids playing in bouncy houses. Make sure the house is securely fastened by ropes, pegs, or sandbags.
3. Rough play is a no-no
Yes, the surface is soft and flexible, but injuries can still happen. This is because kids can get carried away while at play, pushing, somersaulting, or jumping around too much.
When you spot kids engaging in rough play, stop them immediately.
4. Adhere to weather warnings
Make sure there are no violent wind warnings on the day. If there are, don’t push your luck; stay on the safe side. There are other ways to have fun without the use of a bouncy castle.
5. Make sure the bouncy castle is age-appropriate
When throwing a party for your kid, chances are that kids of all ages will be present. Make sure bigger kids don’t go in the bouncy house at the same time as the little ones. No, “kids at heart” don’t count. Bouncy castles are no place for teens and adults when kids are present.
Sources: BBC, Bustle
ALSO READ: Playground safety: Do not ever go down the slide with your kids!