Safety tips for bounce houses after one goes flying

Posted at 6:07 PM, Jun 20, 2016

One child's party took a terrifying turn in Niagara on Saturday.  A gust of wind lifted up the bounce house only moments after children had been playing inside.  Then, it was tossed into nearby power lines.

For Mark Slater, owner of ABC Hardware and Rental, the video was shocking.

"The first thing I think about is safety; that nobody was injured," he said.  "And, what could have been done to prevent an accident like that."

Fire department officials aren't sure which company the bounce house in the video was rented from, or if it was a rental at all.  Slater says he and his employees take extreme caution when renting out inflatables to be sure accidents don't happen.

"I'm always looking at the weather," he explained.  "I'm looking at the wind.  I'm looking at the ground conditions.  If it's been raining three or four days, we may have to go from one size stake up to a larger stake."

Slater also gave advice on what to pay attention to if you're planning to rent a bounce house soon.  Remember to ask to see a company's insurance policy, always read the instruction manual and safety labels and keep an eye on the day's weather.

It's also important to make sure the bounce house is supervised at all times.

"There should always be some adult eyes watching over to make sure they're playing safe and that the unit is safe," Slater warned.

There is evidence pointing to a rise in bounce house-related injuries.  A 2015 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows a big increase.  In 2003, an estimated 5,311 people visited emergency rooms because of injuries from "inflatable amusements".  The estimate in 2013 was 17,377.