In Florida, bounce houses and inflatable slides are a fun way to celebrate children’s birthdays and summer festivals. These amusements are especially ever-present during the summer. However, a spate of injuries has some parents and experts questioning the safety of these amusements. According to Rideaccidents.com, there have been 10 reported accidents involving inflatable slides, bounce houses, and other similar inflatables over the past two months alone. More than 40 people suffered injuries as a result of these accidents.
High winds are a major risk factor with such amusements. Reputable operators report closing down this type of entertainment when winds exceed 15-25 miles/hour. However, there are multiple cases of accidents caused by winds. In the past month, a number of injuries were reported in Oceanside, New York, when inflatable rides were carried away by the winds at a sporting tournament. One woman was critically injured in the incident.
According to the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials, such accidents are in fact quite common because in many cases the rides are not correctly inflated or installed. The National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials notes that such rides and inflatables have different standards from different manufacturers, and these must be followed very closely to ensure safety. In most cases, the inflatables need to be installed with metal stakes rather than sandbags.
Another problem may be that there are no laws in Florida which regulate inflatables such as bounce houses. While reputable operators follow manufacturer directors and the standards outlined by the American Society for Testing and Materials, no operators are required to adhere to these standards and face no penalties if they fail to do so. Florida’s Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection is responsible for inspecting fair rides, but inflatables are not part of their responsibility. In fact, these amusements are exempt from inspections by the Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection in Florida.
There are safety precautions available with some of the higher-end slides and inflatables. Some, for example, have safety air bags which give children extra time to leave the inflatable if it starts to deflate. As well, reputable operators supervise rides carefully to ensure that there is no running down slides and no overcrowding – two risk factors which can contribute to Florida personal injury accidents on these slides.
If your child has suffered an injury you believe has been caused by negligence or recklessness, contact the compassionate and experienced legal staff at the Flaxman Law Group. Our offices in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood have already helped thousands of personal injury victims. Call today for a free appointment to discuss your case.