Whether you are someone who follows the inflatable business closely or not, you have probably heard in the media about a few lawsuits regarding the unsafe use of inflatables. Unfortunately, some people got seriously injured or killed. The more popular bounce houses become, the more injuries can be expected, if safety is not always priority number one. It happens because many people do this business as an on-the-side activity to make some “easy money” over the weekends. A certain amount of those people don`t even seriously consider the safety issues, or they are not aware of them all. Also, they often buy the cheapest inflatables, usually simple jumpers, with questionable safety features just to be cheap and penetrate the market.
If you are a potential bounce house renter you’ve probably asked yourself the question, “Are inflatable bounce houses safe?” I will dare to say-YES. However, all safety rules must be enforced if you want your bounce house rental to be successful.
Where to start? Let`s talk this time about manufacturers!
As a regular attendee of the national inflatable show (IAAPA), I was able to meet the majority of the inflatable manufacturers. I must say that, besides design differences, not all inflatables are the same. Under the demand to make cheap, light and entertaining inflatables, some manufactures add less safety features than they should and/or use less superior materials. A recent example is the Sportcraft Company which had to recall 2,600 bounce houses due to fans falling apart during use, causing the bounce houses to lose air.
What about the inflatable design? As an inflatable owner, I would never buy an inflatable that is not completely enclosed with netting and walls. I understand that some people will say that those inflatables are cheaper, lighter to transport and easier set up, but in my understanding they are not 100 percent safe. Why? If kids different sizes and ages bounce together, which shouldn`t happen in the first place-but if it does, a smaller child can be easily thrown out just by a larger child or adult bouncing. A fall at these forces can be much more serious than a regular fall. You want your child to be protected, so look for inflatables that offer an enclosed play area where every fall would be padded by the bounce.
Some inflatables come with more risk than others. Many people in the industry believe that the titanic slide is one of the risky inflatables. The inflatable construction, the back top of the inflatables sticks out beyond its base, makes this inflatable prone to tip under some circumstances.
Some insurance companies consider sumo suits and bungee runs high-risk inflatables based on the nature of the activities that they exhibit.
Extending a bungee run rope to its maximum creates a strong and instant jerk which can cause back and neck injuries. Be careful with these ones!
Sumo suits can be potentially risky if their safety features are not properly placed in service or if they are worn out. Also, the risk of injuries increases when the suit is either too big or too small for the user. Always wearing the head gear if very important with sumo suits, you would not want a neck or head injury for your child.
Altogether, inflatables are safe if they are properly designed, kept in good shape and if all safety rules are completely enforced. It is not safety first, it is SAFETY ALWAYS!
Let us know your experience regarding bounce house rentals!