Protecting Your Kids from Bounce House Accidents

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

You just want to throw your kiddo the best birthday party ever and what's more fun than a bounce house?  They are fun, and we don't want to discourage you from having fun, but bounce houses can also be dangerous.

Instead of telling your kids they can't have it or that they can't play on one, just follow these safety tips and make sure the locations where you let your children play on them do too.  Even by following these safety tips, there can still be accidents (kids will be kids, after all). However, you can greatly reduce the chance a needless accident will occur.

1. Read All the Warning Labels

If you're getting your own bounce house, make sure you read all the warning labels.  If you're at a friend’s house, ask to see them.  If you're at a public location, they'll have the warnings posted.  No matter how you find them, read them carefully.

It's tempting to want to sue the manufacturer if your child is hurt on one, but the reality is, many of the injuries that occur from using these toys are the result of failure to follow proper instructions.  You only have cause to sue the manufacturer if there was a defect or the manufacturer, in some way, failed its duty to protect the user (like giving warning labels).

2. Bounce Houses Should Be Secured

Bounce houses work because they're literally giant balloons made with super-strong material that stands up to your kids' rough-housing.  But, they are still balloons. In one instance, two young children were hospitalized with serious injuries after a bounce house was blown away by a gust of wind.  They flew 15 feet into the air and landed on the ground. This isn't the only report of kids being injured by an unsecured bounce house.

If you're the host, make sure the house is properly secured so it can't be blown away (even if it's not a windy day). If your kids are playing somewhere else, make sure it's secured well before allowing them to play.

3. Adult Supervision is a Must

It's great to kick back and relax at your backyard party, but an adult needs to be watching the kids at all times.  Take shifts if you have to. But make sure at least one adult (if not two or three) is present in case someone gets too rough or is injured.  Kids don't always make the best decisions about how to handle personal injury, and may not have the knowledge they need to deal with serious ones.

Also, make sure older kids know to be careful when little ones are sharing. In fact, if you can, it's a good idea to separate the kids into groups and let the older kids have a separate turn from the little ones.  You can even allow some of the gentler older kids into the small kids' session to help them learn how it works.

4. Know What to Do if Someone Does Get Hurt

If someone does get hurt, whether it's your child at someone else's place or another child at yours, you need to know who could potentially be responsible.

The location owners (note: that's you if you're hosting) could be responsible for the injury under the theory of premises liability (which is where that waiver comes in).

The retailer or amusement workers who inflated, provided or managed the bounce house and/or its employees could be sued for negligence if an accident occurs.  This may apply whether you go to an amusement park or hire a third-party company to do some or all of the labor in providing or managing the bounce house at a private party.

The manufacturer could also be sued if the reason for the injuries could be tied to a manufacturing defect.

Has Your Child Been Injured in a Bounce House Injury?

A qualified Orlando personal injury lawyer can help you determine what happened and who you may have to sue.

Please contact us or call Draper Law Office at 866.767.4711 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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