Bounce houses and “inflatables” not always safe

From grand openings and local fairs, to children’s birthday parties and other events, the use of bounce houses and other inflatable entertainment devices is on the rise. If defective, inflatable products are a serious hazard. Even when the device itself is not defective, improper installation, supervision or maintenance can lead to serious injuries. When the products have been used improperly, or used in unsafe conditions, the results have been tragic.

The primary causes of injury in connection with inflatable devices are high winds and exceeding the weight the device can safely handle. While dramatic videos have captured bounce houses taking flight when they come loose from their restraints in windy conditions, simply turning a house on its side can injure the people inside. Broken bones, head injuries and even fatal injuries can be the result.

Before renting a bounce house or other inflatable device, it is vital to choose a reputable dealer and make sure proper precautions are being taken. Proper installation can prevent many of the most serious concerns surrounding inflatable devices. If the company renting the house is not licensed and insured properly, or if they use untrained personnel to install the houses, everyone using them is at risk. The insurance policies carried by most dealers range from $1 million to $2 million and cover accidents caused by a defective product or errors in installation.

If you are considering renting a bounce house, make sure you have provided for proper adult supervision. Choose a dealer with an established reputation and make sure they take proper precautions. Safety measures can protect you and your guests from an unfortunate situation.

Source: Florida Today, “Recent accidents raise concerns about inflatable ‘bounce houses’,” Wayne T. Price, 9 June 2011.