Like them or loathe them Bouncy Castles are here to stay but are they a dream or a nightmare ? If you are a parent thinking about hiring a bouncy castle for a birthday party or an event organizer booking one in for a family fun day, show or gala, what do you need to know ?
Bouncy Castle, Dream or Nightmare ?
Accidents do happen
It’s a fact. There have been lots of accidents on bouncy castles and some of them very serious and there have even been a few fatalities. You need to be aware of this. Remember the inflatable maze that blew away in Chester Le Street ?
Public Liability Insurance
When a serious accident happens there is going to be a claim! The blame will fall on whoever was responsible for supervision. At a birthday party it is likely to be the parent in charge or the person who made the booking. At an event it could be the event organiser. Make sure you know where you stand. If the hire company are not providing a supervisor they are not responsible unless the accident is attributable to faulty equipment or they have not left instructions on how to use the inflatable safely. Finally, even if they are on site the organiser could still be partially to blame if they have not checked that the hire company are doing their job properly. Ignorance is no defence in the eyes of the law. If you are a parent hiring a bouncy castle for a birthday party you should contact your own insurance company and seek advise.
Bouncy Castles are fun!
Make sure your kids play in safety!
Here are some tips
- Make sure the bouncy castle has a valid test certificate.
- Check that electrical appliances are PAT tested.
- Do a visual check on cables, fans etc to ensure there are no bare wires, loose plugs etc.
- Do a visual check on the inflatable. Look out for tears in the fabric, stitching coming appart, damaged or missing anchor points.
- Keep electrics away from water and don’t use outside in the rain or during wet weather.
- Make sure the unit is well anchored down using stout metal ground spikes. If on hard standing substantial weights are required.
- The surface of the bouncer must be dry. Wet slippery surfaces are unsafe.
- Don’t put big kids on with little ones.
- Don’t overcrowd the bouncer. Ask the hire company how many kids can go on at a time.
- Footwear should be removed whilst bouncing.
- Soft mats should be placed at the open side to allow safe entrance and exit.
- No food or drink should be allowed on the unit ( choking hazzard )
- Sharp objects or toys should not be carried whilst on the unit.
- Climbing on the walls must be forbidden.
- The bouncy castle must be properly supervised by a responsible adult at all times. Make sure they know the do’s and don’ts.
What to do if there is an accident
Make sure you know exactly what happened. Write it down and take photographs. Take the details of any witnesses and if possible get statements from them in writing. Inform the hire company. Inform your insurance company ( in case there is a claim at some time in the future, if you don’t tell them they may not cover you ).
Do you have any other advice relating to bouncy castle safety ?
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