‘I Want to go on the Bouncy Castle!’ Is it safe for parents to say ‘Yes you can’?January 10, 2019
“Please, please, please may I go on the bouncy castle?” Parents of young children will be all too familiar with this kind of question, or should we say pleading, from our little ones. After all, when we take our youngsters to fun fairs, amusement parks or organised local events which have as part of the entertainment, bouncy castles, the whole idea is that our children should have fun and expend some energy. The last thing that we should have to take into account is that they might end up being seriously injured.
Whilst incidences of accidents involving children participating in these types of activity are fairly rare, they do happen and when they do, the injuries sustained are often very serious and can even be fatal.
These types of incidents make headline news when they occur. In June 2018, a married couple from Cambridgeshire were jailed after a 7-year-old girl died when the bouncy castle that she was playing on was blown away by strong winds at an Easter fair in Harlow, Essex. The jailed couple were responsible for managing the giant inflatable. They had failed to properly secure it and had allowed children to continue using the bouncy castle, despite the fact that another attraction, an inflatable slide, had been already been closed due to the strength of the prevailing wind.
Should we continue to allow our children to use bouncy castles at public events?
It would be a sad world if the answer to this question had to be an unequivocal, ‘Yes.’ However perhaps parents, armed with the knowledge gleaned from this article, might well be advised to bear the following points in mind;
- Carry out a quick survey of the attraction yourself. Does it appear to be properly moored to the ground?
- Is the attraction being properly supervised? Are the children being allowed to engage in horseplay or do the supervisors seem to be controlling them efficiently?
- Are the children using the attraction of mixed ages – sometimes younger children can be more vulnerable if there are older, bigger children using the inflatable at the same time.
- Does the attraction appear to have too many children using it at the same time? If so, it may be possible to avoid disappointing your youngsters by coming back for them to use it a little later in the event, when it is somewhat quieter.
- Are there adequate safety mats surrounding the attraction?
- Are the supervisors providing the children with any safety instructions before they start to use the attraction?
And If your child is injured, what should you do?
The event organisers and the owners and supervisors of inflatable attractions owe a duty of care to those using them to ensure their safety. If they breach that duty and your child is injured as a result of that breach of duty, you are within your rights to seek legal advice with a view to making a claim for compensation against those responsible for allowing the accident to happen.
The experienced personal injury team at Metcalfes solicitors in Bristol have experience of acting on behalf of those injured in accidents on bouncy castles. Contact Sophie and the team for further information.