Bounce House goes Airborne in New York

Yesterday, June 5, 2011, a heavy gust of wind suddenly picked up three inflatable bounce houses at a soccer event at the Oceanside United Soccer Club in Long Island, NY. There were children inside at the time and 13 people were injured, none seriously.

One bouncy house was lifted completely off the ground and became airborne. That one (shown in the video) seems to be a slide and not a house, so there probably weren’t any kids on it when it lifted off, although they were probably thrown off when the gust hit. Some people on the ground were struck by the floating, rolling houses.

There were no criminal charges filed.

It seems to me that if these houses had been properly anchored, this incident wouldn’t have happened.

Check out the video of the incident, then scroll down for some bounce house safety information.

If you or your organization is planning on having bounce houses at your event, following are some safety tips from the Safe Inflatable Operators Training Organization that you will want to follow.

Before signing a contract for bounce houses ask the following questions:

  • Are they insured? Get a copy of their insurance certificate.
  • Are they trained and how much experience do they have with inflatable rides?
  • What safety measures do they provide?

Once they arrive and as they are setting up check for the following to be sure it is done properly:

  • A tarp should be placed on the ground to protect the bottom of the house from rocks and sharp objects so it won’t deflate while children are playing on it.
  • The house should be staked down or heavily weighted with weights or sandbags.
  • Once inflated, check for rips or holes and general wear-and-tear. Has the house been patched many times?
  • Make sure the house is fully inflated and not sagging anywhere.
  • Be sure the operator goes over all operating and safety procedures verbally and leaves a printed copy. Ask questions if you don’t understand anything.

Once the operator has set up the unit and leaves be sure to:

  • Have someone attending the house at all times.
  • Children ages 3 and under should not be allowed on the ride.
  • Group children according to size. Big kids should not bounce with 5-year-olds.
  • Do not exceed the maximum ride capacity.
  • Perform safety checks frequently.
  • Turn the unit off during inclement weather or high winds.
  • Seek medical attention for any injuries that do occur.
  • Follow all rules left by the ride operator.

Parents at events and amusement parks should follow these safety tips:

  • Make sure you child only rides with other children of his/her size.
  • Be sure there aren’t already too many children on the ride. Get your child out if it becomes too crowded.
  • Always watch your child while on the ride. Accidents can happen in a split second.
  • Get your child off the ride if they seem to be getting tired. Sitting children are much more at risk of being jumped on by another child.
  • Be aware of all the safety rules.
  • Make sure someone is always supervising the bounce house and watching the activities inside.
  • If a bounce house does collapse, remove all the children immediately.

CNN Via Gizmodo

4 Responses to “Bounce House goes Airborne in New York”

  • RihannaI says:

    Three kids\’ bounce house was caught in powerful winds, hurting 13 people. The incident occurred at a soccer tournament in Oceanside, N.Y. Saturday. This event is only probably the most recent of many such incidents. I read this here: <a title=\"Bounce house captured in wind hurt 13\" href=\"\">Bounce house incident injures 13 in N.Y.,</a> I understand the parents\’ reactions about the said incident. Yes, it is an accident but the game organizers must prioritized everybody\’s safety, because as expected these will be used and played by lots of children. The game organizers must be responsible enough to face the liabilities and even charges brought about by the said incident. Safety first as Always.

  • Bounce House says:

    Any bounce house owner or rental company that knows anything about the product should know that you never set up a bounce house when the wind is blowing faster than 15 miles per hour. Even if you firmly secure the bounce house’s stakes in the ground, at that speed, the wind is powerful enough to do exactly what happened in the video. Whatever happened that day was the result of a lack of common sense.

  • This video should be a wake up call for rental company and customer who rent these bounce house. All event are important to customer and rental company. When facing with bad weather that may cause an accident like this. Both rental company and customer must decide what is best for them. Bounce house can not be set up in any wind condition exceed 15 MPH. A well trained rental company should know this wind speed rule. If rental company or customer decide to cuts corner, then bad things can happen.

  • […] I came across this funny image today. I believe it is related to the story I posted some time ago about a bouncy house incident. […]

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