Trampolines and bouncy castles offer hours of fun and thrills for children and for adults who decide to join in the fun. They are not without risk. The frequency of people being injured or killed while using trampolines or inflatable bounce structures is alarming. According to one study, 42 percent of injuries at amusement parks are caused by accidents on inflatables with inflatable slides accounting for 79 percent of falls. Trampolines are not much safer according to a report by the Canadian Pediatric Society with an injury hospitalization rate that was higher than snowboarding and only slightly less than alpine skiing. There are steps parents should take to protect their children, and themselves, from the risks posed by trampolines and bouncy castles.
Avoid common injury risks
Inflatables and trampolines present a high risk of falls and collisions with other participants. Common injuries include the following:
- Head injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Lacerations and abrasions
Falling and jumping from a trampoline or an inflatable, particularly inflatable slides, are common causes of injuries as are the stunts children and adults attempt to perform. Parental supervision is important whenever children are using bouncy castles or trampolines.
When children attempt to perform stunts, such as somersaults, on trampolines they can easily lose their balance or drift away from the center toward the edge of the apparatus and fall against the springs or the metal frame. Parents should prevent children from performing manoeuvres that could endanger their safety.
Collisions are common when groups of children use bouncy castles or more than one child uses a trampoline. Only one person should be on a trampoline at any given time. Two or more people jumping at the same time make it difficult for them to control their movements and usually cause them to collide.
Groups of children bouncing on inflatables increase the risk of two or more of them colliding with each other. Inflatables encourage children to jump and dive, so the risk of children suffering serious injuries from colliding with each other is increased. Parents can prevent injuries by limiting trampoline use to only one person at a time and supervising children using inflatable bouncy castles to prevent activities that create a risk of children crashing into each other.
Follow instructions for installation and use
Inflatable structures have become airborne when used in high-wind conditions or without being properly anchored in place. The structures should be installed according to the installation instructions on level ground clear of any trees, overhead power lines, and other dangers. Read and follow the safety warnings about the maximum number of children allowed to use the inflatable at one time. The instructions should also include a maximum wind velocity beyond which the structure should not be inflated for use.
Trampolines should be assembled on level ground according to the manufacturerâ€™s instructions. The location should be clear of any overhead powerlines, trees or other things that could be a hazard to someone jumping on the device. Safety netting should be installed around the device to prevent someone using it from bouncy off and hitting the ground.
Bouncy castles and trampolines should be inspected before children are allowed to use them for signs of wear and to ensure they are properly anchored in place. The frame and springs of a trampoline should be checked to make certain connections are secure.
Ontario personal injury lawyers
The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation for individuals suffering injuries due to the negligence of other parties. If you or your child has been injured in an accident on a trampoline or bouncy house, call their 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit their website to speak to someone now. They offer free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims throughout Ontario.
First published at https://diamondlaw.ca/blog/trampoline-and-bouncy-castle-safety