Castle Bouncehouse
  •     Being a Cleveland and Painesville Bouncehouse rental company, we are writing this blog post to address an issue that has been revolving around the news circuits for the past few months, and even years. Here at 3E we keep up on all the inflatable news and every once and a while a story emerges that, in our eyes, paints the bouncehouse rental industry in a villainous light.. We feel that it is our responsibility to our customers to shed some light on the issue. The question central to this post is "Are Bouncehouses Dangerous? And if so, what can you do to minimize the risk to your child?"
    Jeff Rossen of ABC News released a report back in 2012 entitled "Bouncehouse Injuries Skyrocketing". This report has been resurfacing as we get closer to the bouncehouse season in Ohio  In the report, Rossen asserts that bouncehouses are "inherently dangerous and without the proper supervision can pose real danger to your child." His report is based off of a study released by Dr. Gary Smith of  Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Smith's report says that between 2008 and 2010 bouncehouse injuries have doubled. He goes on further to state that 30 children go to the emergency room every day in this country for bouncehouse related injuries. Rossen goes on to tell a teary story of little Cassie Stapleton. "Cassie was coming down a slide when she lost her balance and fell, breaking her arm in two places."  The end of Rossen's report is a sober warning to watch your kids in the bouncehouses and lay some ground rules before they go in.
    While we agree with the conclusions of his report there are some points raised that are a little "one sided". The report does not take into account the amount of self-purchased bouncehouse injuries. Manufacturers have begun making smaller bouncehouses made of cheaper materials that are marketed to the private individual. There was no mention of how many of the "30 injuries a day" were from bouncehouses that are privately owned. Another point that should be mentioned is that there are thousands of children between the ages of 1 & 4 that go to the ER everyday.  1. 35 million are seen every year for sports related injuries alone; which is roughly 4,000 every day (www.Safekids.org). Yet bouncehouses are targeted as unsafe.
    Another fact that Rossen glosses over in his report is that in most states, bouncehouse rental companies are required to have each piece inspected and licensed yearly to ensure all safety standards are met. In Ohio, we are required by law to have our pieces inspected and licensed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Along with the license we are required to keep detailed logs on equipment maintenance, safety training for each operator whether they are an employee or volunteer, and run a pre-operation inspection before every single event or drop off. In Ohio there is even a law ensuring boucehouse safety "
Ohio Revised Code 1711.551 requires that riders must obey all warnings and directions regarding this ride and behave in a manner that will not cause or contribute to injury to themselves or other. Failure to comply is a misdemeanor".
    The last point we would like to bring up is the story of Cassie. According to the report Cassie was coming down the slide, lost her balance and broke her arm. The glaring issue is how could she lose her balance if she was using the slide as it is supposed to be used? It sounds to us as if she was standing up while trying to transverse down the slide which is a huge no no and a misuse of the equipment. Our operators are trained to tell each child to slide down on their bottoms, feet first.  

We at 3E agree with Mr. Rossen's assessment that bouncehouses do pose a danger when they are not supervised properly.  Whether it is our staff member or your volunteer monitoring the bounce, the following rules are set and enforced to prevent the likelihood of any injuries.  In addition they are clearly posted on all of the devices that we offer. 

  • Riders should be of similar age range, height, and weight.  Do not put older children or adults with younger children.

  • Only two riders allowed in the obstacle course at ANY time.

  • All participants of the Joust must wear headgear

  • NO: shoes, eyeglasses, jewelry, or other sharp objects

  • NO: Somersaults, diving, wrestling, rough play, or flips

  • NO: Food, drinks, gum, pets, or silly string

  • Do not jump onto or off of the ride

  • NO: Climbing up the slide the wrong way

  • You may only go down the slide feet first and no more than two riders at one time

  • NO: Jumping into the slide area

Most of our team has been working around inflatables and other amusements for well over a decade.  In that time, we have never encountered a serious injury on our equipment.  Kids will bump heads and maybe even twist an ankle, but a few tears later, they are back to bouncing.  Some may attribute this to "luck", but we are confident that a constant vigilance and attention to detail has allowed us to stave off major injuries. 

A final note to all concerned parents, bouncehouses and other inflatable
amusements are Fun and Safe if used properly and obtained or rented from a reputable, licensed, and insured company like us Executive Events & Entertainment!




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