Perhaps you have seen the dramatic videos of a bounce house being blown away with the wind. This is the most exciting thing that could happen to a bounce house, but it is not the feature of a bounce house that is most likely to cause injury to your child or a guest. If you are considering renting or buying a bounce house for a party in your home, call your insurance agent and make sure you are aware of the risks that a bounce house presents to you as the homeowner.
Along with their popularity, the number of injuries linked to inflatable bouncers has risen dramatically since 1995. More than a third of the reported injuries have occurred in the youngest children—those under the age of five. The most predominant injuries are those to the arms, legs, head, and neck. There are also reports of bounce houses suddenly collapsing and children being thrown through the door or trapped inside.
If you are determined to have an inflatable bounce toy at your child’s party, you can take precautions and set rules to minimize the chance of injuries. Children younger than six should not use the bounce house and young children should not bounce with older, heavier kids or adults. The number of children who are using the house at one time should be limited to four. Those children should all be approximately the same size and weight and have removed their shoes before entering. Also, no child should be permitted to enter the bounce house unless an adult is standing by to supervise and monitor the activities inside. Children should be restricted from doing flips and somersaults.
Other Children’s Party Attractions to Consider
Sometimes, less is better. When it comes to entertaining children, in this age of overstimulation, quiet activities like painting or coloring can be very pleasurable. A cup or plate that a child can decorate on their own will make a lasting memento. Also, happy clowns are always welcome by children. Younger children may not understand a sad-faced clown, so be careful in your selection. Hiring a balloon artist to make balloon animals for the children can also help to keep a group of kids safely entertained. These activities are all significantly less risky in terms of injuries but are equally as fun as (or more fun than) a bounce house risks.
Bounce houses can be fun, but they can also be dangerous. Putting on a lively and safe party for your child is very doable if you take the proper precautions. Get your child involved in the planning to make sure everyone has a good time. Doing these things will make it so that your party is sure to be a great one that everyone will remember fondly.