As parents, we all want our kids to be able to cut loose and have a good time, especially at parties. We remember our own childhoods, and we frequently assume that since we didn’t get hurt, the toys we played with are safe for our own children. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
A number of recent accidents, including serious ones in New York and Colorado, have attracted attention to one of the hallmarks of carnivals, large community gatherings, and deluxe birthday parties. Bounce houses, long seen as a fun way for a group of children to play together, have always caused their fair share of injuries. Having that many children very active in a confined space remains a perfect recipe for bumped heads and knees. But these comparatively minor injuries are not the cause of the recent headlines.
In both New York and Colorado, multiple children were injured when bounce houses they were playing in were picked up by gusts of wind. In Colorado, the bounce house was carried nearly three hundred feet before the wind died down. In New York, the bounce house was lifted fifteen feet in the air. Three children fell and were injured, including a six-year-old who suffered head trauma.
As parents, our primary duty is to keep our children safe, even if that means being the bad guy. Before you let your child play on a bounce house or any other large equipment (including playground equipment), make sure it’s safe. Ensure that:
- the person who set up the bounce house is experienced and, depending on the state, licensed to perform the job;
- the place where the bounce house is placed is suitably flat and safe for the structure;
- the bounce house is properly secured with tethering that can withstand the strongest gusts of wind in the area;
- the number of children who can safely use the equipment is posted, and the rule is enforced.
As hard as we try to keep our children safe, sometimes accidents happen, leading to huge medical bills and emotional trauma. If your child suffered an accident due to someone else’s negligence, make sure you contact a lawyer who can help you make sure you obtain the relief to which you are entitled.