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Safety

Safety concerns with jumping castles

07/10/2008 | by matt 

Some of you may have read information put out by KidSafe Victoria warning people not to buy toy jumping castles due to safety concerns. I took the time to write a lengthy response to their article asking for some clarification on some of the information that was put out such as: How does the number of children presenting with injuries on jumping castles compare to children who have injured themselves on trampolines, swing sets, bicycles and skateboards?

I also told them that from reading their article it also seemed apparent that the majority of children who are injured on jumping castles are actually injured on commercial jumping castles that people hire out or children ride on at fetes and fairs. Unfortunately I received no response from KidSafe.

The key reason why jumping castles have come under the spotlight for safety in recent years is due to the tragic death of a young girl in South Australia in 2001. If you take the time to read the coroner's report into this incident, you will discover that the death occurred when a large commercial jumping castle which was inadequately anchored in a carpark, was hit by a large whirly wind. The wind speed of the whirly wind was estimated at 100-120km/h and hit the jumping castle directly while children were still on it, lifting it over 4m into the air.

Strong winds are the major safety concern with inflatable bouncers which is why our bouncers clearly state that they should not be operated in winds exceeding 25km/h. Don't risk serious injury by operating your bouncer on a windy day, and be extra vigilant if you live in areas that are subject to sudden gusty winds or whirly winds. 

Here are some more suggestions to help you operate your bouncer safely: 

  • Ensure your jumping castle isn't overloaded. Too many children on it at once increases the likelihood of children bumping into each other.  
  • Do not push against mesh walls. They are designed as a safety catch like on a trampoline, but not to be run into deliberately.  
  • Don't mix big kids with small kids on the jumping castle. Injuries are often caused by larger kids falling onto little ones.  
  • Ensure children take care entering and exiting the jumping castle.  
  • Do not allow children to take any object onto the jumping castle. 
  • Be aware that on hot days the surface of the jumping castle or inflatable slide can become hot. A light spray of water will cool down the surface.  
  • Keep in mind that children will often be more careless on a jumping castle than they will on other outdoor toys as the softness of what they are playing on feels safer, so supervise them at all times.

 

If you're sensible about how the kids use your jumping castle you will see that the risk of injury is much less than on things such as swing sets, trampolines, bicycles and skateboards.