Bounce houses are a fun and entertaining way for kids to spend hours at a party, event, or gathering. Unfortunately, they facilitate wild physical activity, and this can cause injury. It’s important to keep safety in mind any time you’re allowing children to interact with an inflatable bounce house or combo with slide.
Bounce houses are not inherently dangerous above and beyond any standard kids play. They’re one of the safer options, in fact, they can be used improperly. With that in mind, we’ve put together this safety guide for bounce houses, large and small, for kids of all ages.
The number one tip we can give you for keeping your children safe while playing on a bounce house is supervision. Children are clever; they will think up numerous ways to play in a bounce house that put themselves or others at risk of injury, simply because it seems like a fun thing to do at the time. (Some people never grow out of this attitude.)
Make sure that at least one parent is supervising children who are using a bounce house. Ideally, this parent is watchful, not distracted, and has a close-by, clear view of what is happening inside the bounce house. It’s also beneficial if this parent has first aid training and can administer aid in the event of injury, from bandages for skinned knees to appropriate actions for a broken bone.
This is doubly important for children under the age of 10, who do not typically have enough foresight and awareness to understand the risk of actions they take. We all know that small children sometimes seem invulnerable to the bumps and scrapes of living, but they aren’t, and it gives them a false sense of safety when doing dangerous things.
Make Sure That The Bounce House Is Properly Set Up
your bounce house rental from Jump Masters comes to you with free setup and take down we make sure that it is properly installed, tied down, inflated, and clean for safe use. We’ve all heard horror stories about gusts of high winds pulling a bounce house away and injuring children, but this never happens when the bounce house is tied down properly.
These items Should Never Enter The Bounce House Or Play Area.
- Anything sharp. Sharp items are not just a risk to children, they are a risk to the integrity of the bounce house itself. Damage to the bounce house can cause worse problems and worse injuries.
- Food and drink. Food can be a choking hazard. Food is also messy and a spilled beverage can be a slipping hazard in an inflatable. It also requires cleaning and can cause problems with your rental company later. Some harder pieces of food can also be dangerous, like small chicken bones.
- Hard toys. Anything that could hurt if you land on it should be banned from the bounce house. This includes blocks, dolls, dart guns, figurines, and other toys.
- Jewelry and glasses. Jewelry can be a hazard if it catches on something inside the bounce house, and sharp jewelry can cut the surface of the bounce house. Jewelry such as earrings can get caught and tear skin, necklaces can choke, and glasses can break.
It’s important that whoever is supervising the bounce house checks over all children entering the inflatable. Children love to smuggle contraband where they shouldn’t, regardless of the safety concerns, so be mindful of this.
Restrict Rough Activity
Bounce houses are designed for jumping and bouncing. Somersaults, flips, and other forms of roughhousing and horseplay can be dangerous to limbs and joints. Most bounce house injuries come from inappropriate play, so make sure whoever is supervising is able to keep an eye on the activity level and put a stop to anything excessive.
Shoes meet the criteria of several other rules on this list. They’re hard and hurt when landing on them. They turn a hurtling child into a dangerous object to other children. They can damage the bounce house, or get caught more easily than a foot in a sock. They can also track in dirt and rocks, which can further be hazardous within a bounce house. Make sure all children entering takes their shoes off.
Bounce House Should Be Placed On A Flat, Open Location
Different bounce houses will have different requirements for the space they need to operate properly. Larger inflatables often require large open spaces with not just horizontal, but vertical clearance. Make sure your chosen area doesn’t have low-hanging tree branches, power lines, or other hazards that could get in the way.
A flat location is essential for safety. A yard is ideal, where the ground is slightly softer than pavement. A parking lot or driveway can also work, so long as there are places the bounce house can be tied down nearby.
You also want to make sure the open face of the bounce house is both protected and open. There’s always a small risk of a flying child exiting through the entrance at high speed, though care should be taken to avoid this. Making sure the entrance is open also prevents access issues if an injury occurs or if a child simply wants to get out.
Size Matters Choose A Bounce House Of Appropriate Size
The age and number of children participating in your event will determine how large a bounce house you should rent, or if you should rent more than one. Smaller bounce houses have smaller capacities. Remember all of our bounce houses come standard with slides but there are bounce houses for children of nearly all ages, from toddlers with small, toddler-friendly bounce enclosures, to other options such as larger inflatables and obstacle courses meant for pre-teens.
In some cases, it may be better to allow certain age groups and size differences access at a given time, or rent several inflatables for different age groups and make sure only the appropriate age group has access to it.
Determine Water Use
Some inflatable bounce house rentals are designed to be used wet, such as water slides. Others can be wet or dry some slides and many bounce house combos fit this category. In these cases, you should decide ahead of time whether you’re going to allow water or not.
Water based Inflatables can be fun, especially on a hot summer day. On the other hand, a bounce house needs to be dried out completely before it can be deflated and stored, otherwise, it can cause mold and mildew problems.
If you’re renting a bounce house, make sure to talk to the owner as well. They may have specific rules about whether or not water is allowed in the bounce houses, and will want to be aware of what’s going on in their bounce houses regardless.
When renting a bounce house be aware of the weather when you’re using them.
On hot summer days, you want to make sure you shade the bounce house, moisten it, or otherwise do something to cool it. Some exposed surfaces of a bounce house on a 90+ degree day can get very hot, and that can be a burn risk for children.
If the forecast calls for rain, make sure your bounce house is allowed to get wet, and that it’s safe when used wet. Not all bounce houses are designed with water in mind, and you may need to deflate and store your bounce house before the rain hits. Storms can be dangerous for a variety of reasons. Lightning is a big worry, though bounce houses getting struck by lightning is very rare. More pressing is the risk of wind. High winds can threaten a bounce house, no matter how well it is tied down. If the weather turns, make sure no one is playing in the bounce house, and deflate it if possible. Even an empty bounce house can be a hazard if it comes loose and flies into someone.
In general, you never want to have an inflated bounce house when winds are over 20mph. Many bounce houses are only rated for 15 mph winds, too, so keep an eye out for the rating of the bounce house you’ve been using.
To Sum It Up Safety Equals A Successful Special Event
- Keep an eye on what kids are doing, and don’t let them do anything dangerous.
- Make sure no foreign objects make it into the bounce house and remove any that do.
- Be sure to take down the inflatable in the event of high winds or inclement weather.
- Follow and respect any local laws or regulations; they’re in place for a reason.