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Drew: Safety Tips for Inflatable Bounce Houses


By Samuetta Hill Drew

During the month of May, the articles will explore various safety measures for hot weather recreational fun activities individuals and families engage in typically during these months. It is essential while people are having fun, they also stay safe.

Inflatable bouncing houses add fun entertainment to almost any child’s birthday parties, family backyard parties or picnics, school/church/neighborhood carnivals and/or family reunions. Yes, they can entertain a group of children for hours, but there are some safety rules which should be followed before your little one enters and takes his/her first jump in the bouncing house/castle. The fact of the matter is that 30 children a day (about 1 child every 45 minutes) are injured in a bounce house. Two-thirds of the injuries are to legs and arms while 15 percent involve heads and faces.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is seeing a steady increase in children’s injuries because of the bouncers growing popularity. During the summer months children seen in the ER injured from these bouncers have now become common. We will identify some safety do’s and don’ts when using a bounce house over the next two weeks.

• It is important to remember you take on the liability and risk associated with the inflatable bouncer when using it at your home, the school, the church, etc. Therefore, it is essential the renter or buyer reads and follows the inflatable bounce house/castle safety instructions as well as the warning labels usually located on the outside of the bouncer.

• Use of the bouncer properly is crucial so let’s begin by reviewing some of the general safety measures which may help eliminate injuries while engaging in a fun activity. A good starting safety rule is the importance of NOT allowing children under the age of 6 to use a bouncer. Children under the age of 6 often don’t have the balance, coordination and strength needed and required to safely enjoy this activity.

• Another important safety measure is the number of children allowed inside the bouncer. Studies have shown injuries are worse when there are too many children in the bouncer at the same time. It is best to limit the number, size and age of the children allowed in the inflatable bouncer at the same time because of the collisions that often occur. Some studies recommend one child in the bouncer at a time is the safest practice.

• When children of markedly different sizes collide and fall on one another, the younger or smaller child is at risk of sustaining an injury, if not both. Many parents now offer a separate bouncer for bigger children and another separate one for little children. Some have one bouncer but, designate separate usage times for the children based upon their size and age.

• Regardless of the age or size of the children using the bouncer another critical safety rule is that an adult always supervises the bouncer. Children are NEVER to be left unattended at any time. These beginning general safety measures will aid in Keeping an Eye on Safety when using inflatable bouncers. Next week we go into greater details to help with the safety while using this product.