Bounce House Safety

Planning to rent a moonwalk for your next party or event? Be sure to check the Austin Kid’s Directory for party planning services and ideas. We asked Kevin from Austin Moonwalks to share some safety tips to keep in mind when renting a bounce house or when your children are playing on a moonwalk at a facility or a party. Hope you find these helpful. HaVe FuN BoUnCiNg!

This week the American Academy of Pediatrics released a nationwide publication that outlined the startling increase in bounce house injuries across the country. Both national and local news media began to report on this publication to bring the concerns to the public eye. As an operator of one of the largest party rental companies in the Austin area for over 13 years, I’ve been asked several times to make statements in regard to these incidents as they make national news.

Why is there an increase in moonwalk or inflatable related injuries across the US over the past 10 years?

• The rise in popularity of bounce houses or inflatable rides has resulted in more usage, therefore increasing the exposure to potential injury.
• There is a common misconception among parents that inflatables are toys that children can be left alone to play with. In actuality, they are amusement rides and require adult supervision.
• There has been an increase in the usage of “store bought” inflatables that are not constructed to the same standards as commercial inflatables.

What can parents do to keep their children safe on inflatables?

1. Follow the safety rules provided with the inflatable. It should cover things such as:
• Never leave children unattended
• Do not mix age groups
• Never exceed the capacity of the inflatable

2. Use your parental instincts. If you feel that a situation might be endangering your child, do not let them participate. For example:
• Larger children are rough housing or doing flips inside a bounce house
• An inflatable is damaged or not properly anchored to the ground
• There is no responsible adult directing the children

3. Select your inflatable company carefully
• Do not select a company on price alone. Often prices way below market average indicate that the company is not incurring the costs involved in safety training, safety inspections, insurance and top quality equipment.
• Always verify that the company is meeting the minimum safety requirements as required by state law. This can be done at http://www.tioa.org.
• After setup, check the quality of the equipment. Is there any damage or unsafe elements?
• Check the installation. Are all of the anchor points being utilized to secure the inflatable?

I want to assure you that inflatables are both fun and safe when used properly. As with any physical activity, children can and do get injured, but by following these guidelines, parents can reduce the risk of injuries on inflatables.

Kevin Baldree
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President, Texas Inflatable Operators Association
President, Austin Moonwalks, Inc.
(512) 585-5867

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