How Dangerous Are Bouncy Castles?

April 11, 2016

Bouncy castles have become something of a staple among young children’s birthday parties, which has been great for the bouncy castle industry. The increase their popularity has also led to a noticeable uptick in emergency room visits.

How Dangerous Are Bouncy Castles?

Frequent reports in the news detail a number of horror stories which have led to serious injury, or even death. Wrongful death cases involving bouncy castles are more common than you may think. A University of Georgia professor that has been investigating the prominence of bouncy castle injuries says that there have been 10 deaths and 271 injuries attributed to high wind since 2000.

Poorly secured castles have been known to blow away, carrying children hundreds of feet in the air before they drop, causing serious personal injury or death. A recent bouncy castle accident in the U.K. happened in the same way, and claimed the life of a young girl.

Another common cause of injury or death is when the bounce begins to lose air, and collapses on a child. This can cause suffocation in young children that are unable to free themselves and may become completely covered in heavy plastic.

Who Is Liable for Injuries or Death Caused by a Bouncy House?

The castles can pose a premises liability, meaning that the owner or the person using the moon jump could be held liable for injuries incurred during use. If a court finds that the owners or operators acted negligently when setting up the inflatable bounce, they may be held liable for medical expenses and other damages.

How Can We Prevent Injuries?

The Child Injury Prevention Alliance released a few guidelines to promote safety when using a bouncy castle, including:

  • Limit the number of jumpers to children older than 5.
  • Always have an adult supervising when the bounce is in use.
  • Remove all shoes and jewelry from jumpers.
  • Immediately evacuate all children if the bounce begins losing air.
  • Enforce a “no rough play” rule.
  • Keep the entrance/exit clear.

The alliance also advises that the safest way to use a bouncy castle is to only allow one child at a time. Perhaps the most important step comes before the bounce is in use, however. Make sure that the castle is fully secured every time it is used, and do not even attempt to use it while there are strong winds.

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