Bounce House Dangers: How to Keep Children Safe
How to Keep Kids Safe in Bounce Houses
Bounce houses have become a staple at kid’s birthday parties and community events. Though provide hours of fun, they also can be dangerous. According to statistics, 30 kids are treated in emergency rooms every day due to bounce house injuries. You don’t have to keep your kids away from bounce houses, however. Learn how to keep your kids safe while using a bounce house so they can have fun and reduce the risk of injury.
Maintaining Proper Supervision For A Bounce House
Insist the operator stays on site.Bounce houses generally are operated by workers who have been trained in how to properly operate the bounce house. However, that doesn’t always mean the operator stays by the bounce house the entire time. You should insist that the operators remain by the bounce house while the kids are using it.
- The operator should watch what is going on with the kids inside the bounce house. They shouldn’t direct their attention outside of it or on other things, like a cell phone.
Assign an adult to watch the bounce house.If you rent a bounce house, you may not have an operator on site who works for the company. An adult should monitor the bounce house to make sure kids are using it properly. The adult will also be nearby if an injury occurs.
- Even if an operator is provided by a company, you should assign an adult to watch the bounce house. This helps provide an extra set of eyes on the children.
- Remember that bounce houses aren’t a distraction so the parents can take a break. You shouldn’t just let kids go bounce without any adult supervision.
- According to most experts, the main reason for bounce house injuries is misuse due to mistakes and lack of supervision. With proper supervision and usage, bounce houses are safe for children.
Supervise small children inside the bounce house.If you allow children younger than six to jump in the bounce house, consider assigning an adult or two to supervise the children closely. Young children can easily get hurt by falling or losing their balance inside a bounce house.
- Consider having an adult inside the bounce house. The adult should be seated and near the children, but not jumping with the children.
- Parents with young children may want to go inside the bounce house with their kids. The parents should remain seated and on the sidelines, but be near enough to hold their child’s hand or watch them to help prevent injury.
Following Safety Rules While Using a Bounce House
Allow only children of similar size to bounce.The children bouncing inside the bounce house should be around the same size. Don’t let toddlers and small children bounce with larger kids.
- Consider having two bounce houses for events with a large number of children. For smaller parties, designate specific times for kids of different sizes to bounce.
- Letting kids of different sizes bounce together may cause collisions, trampling, or even severe injuries like bone breaks.
- Assign an adult, babysitter, or trusted teen to monitor the bounce house to keep kids of different sizes and ages separate.
Adhere to maximum occupancy rules.Most bounce houses have a maximum occupancy number. This number usually can be found listed on the outside of the bounce house. Though kids may want to be together all at once, keep the number of bouncers under the maximum occupancy to protect them.
- Maximum occupancy numbers help keep the bounce house empty enough so kids aren’t jumping on top of one another or too closely together, which can lead to injury.
- Consider only letting in a small number of children at the same time. This allows the children more room to move around and jump, so they not only have more fun, but stay safe.
- The majority of injuries inside bounce houses occur due to kids either falling inside the bounce house or crashing into other children. This is why watching children is so important, as well as not overcrowding the bounce house.
Bounce and slide properly.Bouncing and sliding properly can help reduce the risk of injury. Children should not bounce on their backs. Instead, they should remain on their feet while bouncing. When they fall, they should immediately get back up.
- When children slide down in a bounce house, they should slide feet first. They should never slide down face first. This can lead to neck or head injuries.
Wear proper socks.Kids jump in bounce houses without shoes on. However, they should wear socks. The socks should have grip or tread on them to help the kids from slipping and falling.
- Don’t let your kid jump in socks with slick bottoms. This might cause an injury.
Jump without accessories.Though kids may love wearing accessories at birthday parties or group events, they should remove them before getting into a bounce house. Anyone who bounces should remove any item that could get caught on the bounce house.
- This includes jewelry, watches, earrings, large hair barrettes, belts, and other similar accessories.
Avoid flips inside a bounce house.Children should not be allowed to perform flips, tumbles, or other acrobatics inside a bounce house. When children jump and flip in the air, do cartwheels, or other similar moves, they increase the risk of hitting other children or falling.
- Serious neck and head injuries in bounce houses are usually caused by acrobatics. Kids can fall or bounce on their head or neck, or they may knock another child in the head with their foot as they flip through the air.
Refrain from roughhousing.Children should never be allowed to roughhouse or engage in horseplay in a bounce house. Jumping roughly, wrestling, shoving other children, or purposefully bouncing into someone else can cause serious injury.
- Young boys are especially prone to roughhousing in bounce houses. The adult or babysitter on duty should correct any rough behavior when it occurs. If the child continues to play roughly, he should be removed from the bounce house. This protects the safety of the other children.
Make children aware of the rules beforehand.Before children enter a bounce house, they should be told the rules. This may be the job of the operator, the supervising adult, or the babysitter. Adults should make sure the children are listening to the rules and not being distracted by something as the rules are being outlined.
- Parents or guardians should make it their job to explain the rules and risks of bouncy houses to their children. Though someone at the bounce house should explain the rules before they go in, parents should not always count on others to instruct their children. Instead, parents should take responsibility and give their children rules.
- Explain to children that if they do not follow the rules, they will be removed from the bouncy house and the privilege will be revoked.
Encourage children to bounce away from exits.Openings and exits in a bounce house can pose dangers. Children are at risk of being jumped on and knocked down when entering a bounce house if other children are bouncing too close to the entrance. Children have been reported bouncing out of openings in bounce houses or bouncing off slides, resulting in injury.
- Children should use caution when bouncing near openings and edges of bounce houses. Encourage them to use the center of the bounce house instead of the edges, and to watch for kids entering or exiting the bounce house.
Refrain from taking food into the bounce house.Kids should leave all food, drinks, gum, and candy outside the bounce house. Food and drinks may spill inside the bounce house, which can lead to slipping and injuries.
- Food, candy, and gum pose choking hazards as the children bounce.
Ensuring The Safety Of The Bounce House
Make sure the bounce house is weighted properly.Commercial-grade bounce houses are generally heavier than the ones you may buy in the store. On concrete, a commercial bounce house should be weighted with at least 100-pound weights on each corner. When the bounce house is set up on grass, it should be secured with heavy-duty metal stakes.
- The metal stakes used to secure the bounce house should be 30 to 40-inch steel stakes. This secures the bounce house and keeps it in the ground. Bounce houses shouldn’t be secured with short plastic stakes.
- For example, a commercial bounce house may weigh over 200 pounds while one purchased from a box may weight 30.
Avoid using bounce houses in high winds.Wind can be very dangerous to bounce houses. Multiple incidents have reported that strong winds have blown bounce houses away. When using a bounce house, you should tell your children to get out of the bounce house if the winds range from 20 to 25 miles per hour or higher.
- You may also consider deflating the bounce house in high wind conditions.
- Before putting up the bounce house, check the wind conditions. You can do this via your local TV weather report or an online weather app.
Avoid setting up bounce houses in the rain.If it starts to rain while children are in a bounce house, they should be removed immediately. Children should not be allowed back inside the bounce house until it has stopped raining.
- Dry the floor of the bounce house before children are allowed back in. Jumping in wet conditions can cause more slipping and lead to injuries.
- Children should not be allowed inside bounce houses when it is storming. This increases the risk of injury due to wind, rain, or lightning.
Discuss insurance and inspections with the company.There are no national guidelines for bounce houses. Different states approach the safety and regulation of bounce houses differently. However, some company inspect their bounce houses, or offer warranties or insurance policies. When renting a bounce house, talk to the company about the inspection of their bounce houses, the training of their operators, and any warranties or insurance policies they have.Many reputable companies may also be licensed and have certified operators.
- Research the company to find out the kind of reputation they have. Make sure you are renting from a reputable, safe company. Verify that the company is a real company instead of someone who is just renting out a bounce house with no experience, insurance, licensing, or even office.
- If you sign a contract, make sure to read all the fine print. The contract might outline warranty, insurance, or other important information.
Providing Medical Care For Injured Children
Be prepared for injuries.Though no one wants to think about their children getting hurt, adults should be prepared for any injuries that occur. Have a first aid kit nearby and determine which adults know CPR or have first aid training.
- Know which adults are doctors, nurses, or medical personnel and ask them if they are willing to help in an emergency.
- Discuss with other parents any emergency protocol in case of an injury.
Remove any injured child from the bounce house.If a child happens to get hurt in the bounce house, the child should be removed immediately. A parent or adult should enter into the bounce house to help the child get out.
- Make sure you know what has been injured before removing the child. For example, if the leg has been injured, help the child walk so they do not injure the leg anymore.
Assess the injury.After the child has been removed, assess the injury. Determine the severity of the injury so you know whether the child needs medical attention.
- If the child is in severe pain, or has any kind of abnormality in the limbs, he should be taken to the emergency room.
- If the injury appears to be minor, keep the child out of the bounce house. If any first aid is needed, attend to the injuries. Monitor the injury to see if it worsens. If the pain is bad the next day, take the child to the doctor.
QuestionCan an 8-month-old baby go in a bounce house?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerProbably not. If they are supervised by an adult, and the only kid in the bounce house (so they cannot be stepped on), it might be okay. Check out the bounce house and make sure it is safe, then use your discretion.Thanks!
Video: Bounce house dangers: Keeping your kids safe
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