Inflatable attractions (i.e. “bouncy houses” and slides) have grown in popularity over the last several years, with more and more parents choosing to rent them for children’s parties. However, there are significant potential dangers to consider before renting an inflatable attraction from an operator.
One of the biggest safety concerns for inflatables is proper anchoring; when an operator fails to properly anchor and secure an inflatable, a strong breeze or gust of wind has the ability to lift the inflatable with children in or on it. Recently, a seven year-old girl in Harlow, U.K. was killed when a gust of wind caught the playhouse castle she was in, lifting it up into the air and then smashing it back to the ground. Two people connected with the playhouse castle operator were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, according to local police.
In Florida, there are no requirements for inflatable operators to be certified, bonded, or insured, nor are inflatable attractions even required to undergo inspections. This lack of regulation places a greater obligation on parents to ensure their children’s safety. When renting an inflatable, parents should ask operators about their safety records, require proof of liability insurance, and perform their own inspections of inflatables before accepting them from operators. Parents should also discuss with operators current weather conditions and proper anchoring techniques before allowing operators to set up inflatables.
At Terrell • Hogan, we represent people who are injured by unsafe and defective products, including inflatable slides, bouncy houses and amusement park rides. If you or a loved one has been injured by an unsafe product, contact attorney Chris Shakib at (904) 722-2228 for a free consultation.