Are bounce houses safe?

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Answered

Bounce houses can be safe if operators and parents take proper precautions. Before renting from a company, confirm they are a legitimate company and hold any licenses and insurance required by your state. Ask to see reports of bounce house safety inspections provided by third parties, to make sure the equipment is in good operating condition to prevent injuries. If the rental company does not provide a staff member to oversee the bounce house for the duration of the rental, make sure you are properly trained on how to oversee the equipment. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these guidelines for parents to help keep their kids safe when using a bounce house:  

  • Follow guidelines for safe installation including anchoring. Position away from fences, greenhouses, branches, etc., which would be dangerous should a child fall onto them.
  • Consider limiting use to children 6 years of age and older.
  • Have kids take off footwear, eyeglasses and jewelry before playing.
  • Take sharp objects (pens, keys) that could cause puncture injuries out of their pockets and hands before playing.
  • Don’t let kids of significantly different sizes into the bounce house at the same time. Smaller kids can get hurt by colliding with or falling under an older child.
  • Heed the height and weight regulations of the inflatable.
  • Food, drink, bottles, glasses, etc., should not be taken onto the bounce house.
  • Supervision should be maintained all the time. Supervision means watching constantly, not just being in the area.
  • Do not allow children to push other children off the inflatable. If it is a flatbed, this is especially important to avoid broken arms and legs. If the bounce house is walled, don’t let kids bounce against the walls and crash into one another — this can result in collision injuries.
  • Don’t exceed the maximum number of children at one time in the bounce house.
  • Don’t let kids climb onto the outside walls. Flips and rough play should also not be allowed.