A three-year-old girl died on July 1 in a bouncy castle incident in Norfolk, U.K.
She was bouncing on the inflatable equipment — a bouncy castle with a trampoline — when the trampoline exploded launching her “30 feet” in the air and causing her to land on the sand.
This tragedy comes just two months after two fairground workers were found guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence for failing to properly secure a bouncy castle in Norwich, which killed a seven-year-old child.
According to the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP), there has been a vast increase in bounce house-related injuries in the last 20 years. Between 1990 and 2010, over 30 percent required medical follow up after initial treatment in the emergency department. The most common injuries were fractures and sprains.
In the U.S., the American Academy of Pediatrics reported that more than 64,000 children were treated in U.S. emergency departments for inflatable bounce house-related injuries between the years 1990 and 2010. From 2008 – 2010, the number of injuries more than doubled to an average of 31 injured children per day. More than a third of the children injured were under the age of six.
Our Florida Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton want your kids to remain safe at birthday parties, fairs, carnivals, festivals and all other celebrations. The following safety measures should be taken into consideration when your child is playing inflatable structures:
- Always supervise children in a bounce house. ALWAYS!
- Remove shoes, jewelry, and any hard or sharp objects from children’s pockets.
Group children together according to size to help reduce risk of injury from collision.
Do not allow children to perform stunts like flips or somersaults.
Make sure children stay away from the exit points when bouncing inside.
- If the bounce house starts to deflate, exit promptly.
- If there are high winds, do not use the bounce house.
Bounce houses and other inflatables fall under premises liability, a legal concept that applies to situations where there is an unsafe or defective object on someone’s property. In order to establish liability in a bounce house injury, you must prove that the property owner was negligent and failed to provide reasonable care.
The main defense against bounce house claims is that they come with an assumption of risk. This basically means that while you may know that bounce houses are potentially dangerous, you still allowed your child to play in one anyway.