With their bright, cheery colors and soft appearances, it’s hard to imagine that bounce houses could possibly be dangerous. However, all you have to do is do a quick internet search for bounce house accidents, and you will be greeted with terrifying videos of bouncy castles floating high in the air or trapped in powerlines. And that’s just the beginning.
Here are just a few of the worst-reported accidents:
- A 3-year-old in Washington was killed after two adults fell on him, fracturing his skull.
- Two New York kindergartners were seriously injured after their bounce house was blown 50 feet into the air by a gust of wind, and they fell out, landing on a parked car and on asphalt, respectively.
- A 2- and 3-year-old in New Hampshire had to be hospitalized when the wind lifted their bounce house 30 feet into the air before it crashed into an orchard.
- A 7-year-old in England died when a bounce castle blew away while she was inside.
- Three young children in Fort Lauderdale were injured after their bounce house was lifted 20 feet up by a water spout, and they were thrown down to the sand.
Not only do these types of accidents happen, they’ve been rising significantly for the last decade or so.
Why do these injuries occur? Who is responsible?
Reasons Bounce House Injuries in Florida Occur
There are thousands of bouncy house injuries across the U.S. every single year. The majority of them occur due to the reason you would probably expect: kids knocking into each other. While there are things that those in charge can do to minimize the chances of those kinds of accidents happening, to a certain extent they’re just that – accidents.
However, other bounce house injuries happen because someone behaves in a negligent manner. How so?
Improper anchoring. When bouncy houses are set up, they need to be properly anchored to the ground to keep them from flying away or bouncing all over the place. If anchoring is not done correctly, this can be a case of negligence.
Ignoring the weather. Even the strongest anchors may not be able to hold a bounce house down if the wind is truly strong. Likewise, storms and other weather events can lead to other bouncy castle injuries.
One of the biggest culprits – high temperatures. When the weather is hot, bounce houses heat up even more, which can lead to overheating and other heat-based injuries. The owner or operator of the bounce house must use a safety-first mentality when deciding if it’s okay for kids to bounce.
Lack of supervision. If your child was injured on a school playground and you learned that no one was supervising them, you would probably be rightfully upset and might even file a lawsuit for negligence. After all, kids need to be watched when they’re running, jumping, and climbing around on a playscape. So why would it be any different for a bouncy house? Answer: it shouldn’t.
Inattention to surroundings. Kids not only bump into each other in bounce houses but can also slam into whatever’s close by. Because of this, it is important that bounce houses be placed away from buildings, trees, and other hard objects. Ideally, they should not be set up on blacktop or concrete either.
Inexperience and a lack of training. Unfortunately, inflatable amusements like bounce houses are poorly regulated. Pair this with the fact that the number of inflatable businesses has exploded over the past decade, and you get lots of people who are trying to cash in on the industry without much in the way of training or experience.
Why bouncy house accidents happen matters for two reasons. One, because the more aware you are, the more likely you will be able to prevent your child from getting hurt. Two, because while the industry is not well-regulated in Florida, you can – and should – still hold responsible parties accountable through a personal injury claim.
About the Author:
Since 1994, seasoned litigation and trial lawyer Anthony B. White has helped thousands of accident victims seek damages due to injuries sustained as a result of another party’s negligence. Included in America’s Registry of Outstanding Professionals and selected to the 2012, 2013, and 2014 editions of Florida Super Lawyers, Mr. White specializes in car accidents, insurance disputes, wrongful death, product liability, and medical malpractice cases. He is a longstanding member of the Florida Justice Association and the American Association for Justice and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Broward County Justice Association.