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Bounce House Safety

Make Sure Your Bounce House Doesn’t Take Flight

It sounds like something out of a children’s adventure book: a bounce house that takes to the sky! But it really has happened, and it can be a serious situation. Recently, bounce houses in Colorado and New Hampshire were lifted in the air by wind, causing injury to children.

Though airborne bounce houses are rare, there are other, more common risks when using inflatables, too. Inflatables are a variation on a trampoline and have similar injury potential. Injuries can happen easily, such as when two children’s heads collide, or one falls on top of another. Even something as serious as a spinal cord injury could occur. So be sure to follow the following guidelines to help mitigate risk:

Setting up

  • Have the vendor provide a certificate of insurance and a hold harmless agreement and have these documents reviewed by counsel
  • Inspect the inflatable before use to make sure it’s in good repair
  • Set up the inflatable in a flat area, and place a tarp on the ground to protect the inflatable against rips or holes
  • Stake and weight down the inflatable

While in use

  • Keep the inflatable fully inflated, which will help prevent children from landing on each other
  • Don’t let children under the age of six play on an inflatable
  • Only allow children of similar size and age onto the inflatable at one time
  • Limit the number of children using the inflatable at any one time
  • Keep it simple: No flips and somersaults
  • Prohibit children from playing rough games
  • Take tired children out of the inflatable
  • Have at least one adult supervise to enforce the rules

Kids love bounce houses and other inflatables. Church leaders don’t need to eliminate their use at fairs and other outdoor celebrations. Following these guidelines diminishes risks and still allows everyone to have a good time.

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