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There are few things more fun than jumping on a bouncy house or castle. Inflatables are a staple of so many parties and children’s events that it is safe to assume that everyone reading this has seen some kind of inflatable at one point or another. Upon first glance, inflatable structures just look like a fun amusement ride or distraction for your kids, but there are a lot of concerns that come up when dealing with inflatables.
According to this column from the Star Exponent, between the years of 2003 and 2007, more than 31,000 people were injured and hospitalized due to inflatable ride accidents. The column, written by a certified inspector from the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials, discusses the dangers that come with inflatable rides and what you should look out for when allowing your children to play on them:
“The Virginia Amusement Device Regulations provide the requirements that amusement device operators should follow to operate their rides safely. There is a required permit fee that ranges between $25-$35, depending on the size of the unit, which also governs how often the unit requires an inspection.
If the square footage is 150 or greater and the height of the containment area is 10 feet or greater, then it requires an inspection each time it is set up. Inflatables that do not exceed those numbers would receive an annual inspection. In addition there is a liability insurance requirement that has to be met in order to obtain a permit. Operators are required to have $100,000 liability insurance per person and $1 million in the aggregate for each amusement device.”
Although these are standards based on Virginian regulations, find out what your state’s rules are regarding these rides, particularly if you are having a bouncy castle for your child’s next birthday party. Also, if your child is playing on inflatable rides, do relax, but make sure that you are keeping an eye on them. It’s better to be safe than sorry.