Be safe with bouncy castles and inflatable slides this summer

A bouncy house sits ready for use for children. The 49th Wing Safety office recommends following all bouncy house safety procedures when using a bouncy house. (Courtesy photo)

A bouncy house sits ready for use for children. The 49th Wing Safety office recommends following all bouncy house safety procedures when using a bouncy house. (Courtesy photo)

Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. -- Bouncy castles and inflatable slides seem like fun, but injuries or even fatalities can occur if they are improperly set up, anchored, operated or supervised.  Remember to always have active adult supervision at all times.

 
Review the weather forecast and postpone bounce house activities when high winds or lightning are present or forecasted.  If the manufacturer does not specify maximum allowable wind speeds, use 15 miles per hour as a reference.  All operators should monitor wind speed periodically during operation of the inflatables.  Here are some safety tips that you can use when operating bouncy castles and inflatable slides.

  • Bouncy castles and inflatable slides must be designed to allow safe evacuation in the event of deflation.
  • Anchor stakes, other anchorage devices, and blower equipment must be kept clear of entrance.
  • Where zippers are used as exits, they must be reliable, easy to use, and must be capable of being opened from either side.
  • Whenever possible, installation should be accomplished by a qualified personnel.
  • Follow all manufacturer instructions.
  • Ensure the bounce house and inflatable slides are installed away from powerlines, including those overhead or attached to structures and poles.
  • The blower should be plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter.
  •  Anchor all bouncy castles and inflatable slides on level ground, free of sharp objects, with unimpeded evacuation routes.
  • Adult supervisors must observe age and maximum participant limits when using a bouncy castle.
  • Operators and volunteer attendants should always be aware of any safety issues and stop the event early if they see an unsafe situation developing.

Remember, activities designed for children require a much higher degree of care from those who select, install, operate and maintain them.  Be responsible, be safe and have an enjoyable summer.