It’s the time of year for ‘freak’ inflatable bounce house accidents
It seems to be that time of the year again. The summer brings, along with its warm weather, pop-up storms that can be quite severe and devastating. There have been at least 3 reported cases of bounce houses getting picked up and blown away since May. Although sad to say, there will most likely be many more of these types of accidents before the summer is over. Party Rental companies need to stay vigilant on their safety practices in order to avoid these horrible accidents.
Teenagers Injured when Inflatable Blows Across the Football Field
Five students were injured when an interactive inflatable device was picked up by a strong wind gust at a High School in Washington. At least one woman was stuck on a strap attached to the inflatable as it rose 20 feet in the air. Another student had to be airlifted to the hospital with critical injuries and a teacher was seen attempting to give CPR.
3 Children in Critical Condition from Bounce House Accident
On May 30th of 2019, high winds picked up the inflatable castle with 5 small children inside. The castle flew up into the air, turned upside down and landed nearby a busy street. 3 of the children were critically injured. After investigation, the Russian authorities found that the bounce house had not been properly anchored. Only 3 out of 6 ties were actually tied down to there anchors.
Freak Tornado Blows Away Inflatable
Just 2 weeks after the accident in Russia, witnesses at a family festival in the UK claim that a ‘freak tornado’ lifted up the bounce house sending it airborne into the trees across the field. Two were injured from this fly away bouncy castle. The injuries were said to be minor, however.
One person said: “My son was about to go on the bouncy castle but I said no cos the rain started. 20 seconds later the bouncy castle was thrown into the trees. Feeling a bit stunned but thankful for a split decision to walk away. Hope everyone OK. Pretty scary.”The Mirror (2)
Preventing Bounce Houses from Blowing Away
With proper safety precautions, these types of incidents rarely occur. Here is a reminder of the things you need to do to prevent fly away inflatables.
- Make sure that inflatables are properly anchored, at ALL anchor points.
- Do not operate inflatable devices at wind speeds of over 20 mph.
- Monitor the weather at all times. Deflate the inflatables immediately if any sign of bad weather appears, such as: dark clouds, wind picking up, thunder and lightning etc.
(1) NBC News. “Bounce house castle flies away, leaving 3 children in critical condition.” https://www.wfla.com/news/viral-news/3-children-in-critical-condition-after-bounce-house-castle-flies-away/2039617977. May 30, 2019.
(2) Mirror. “‘Freak Tornado’ sends bouncy castle flying at park picnic leaving ‘three’ injured“. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/three-injured-after-freak-tornado-16527460. June 16, 2019.
(3) CNN. “Several injured after wind flipped and carried a bounce house down a football field“. https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/02/us/bounce-house-accident-injuries-trnd/index.html. May 3, 2019.