Inflatables Getting a Bad Rap in Texas

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If you’re an advocate of inflatables at parties and enjoy a good bounce on a jumper combo or zipping down an inflatable slide, you may not want to read this blog post. You might get a little upset. Yet another town is looking into banning inflatable children’s play areas, but not for the reasons that you may think.

According to the story from Lubbock Online, residents of the town have moved towards banning inflatables from all but 20 city parks and leveraging large fees for the inflatables usage:

“Neighbors around Wagner Park complained of droning generators, increased traffic and damage. The bounce houses flattened grass and broke sprinkler systems paid for with public money, they said. “The sound of children laughing is delightful,” said Marion Livingston, a neighbor to one of the parks. “The sound of a generator is not.” But small-business owners told the council they felt ambushed. They had little input into the proposed new law.”

One of the fees added is a minimum $25 to have inflatables on park property, with requirements on using town electricity and enforcing the need for an employee on hand at all times while in use. Although the small business owners are perturbed by these new (possible) regulations, the measure didn’t pass before. However, the town officials seem driven to move this legislation through, even though some leeway was given:

“Mayor Tom Martin had city staff play footage from a Long Island, N.Y., news report of a bounce house blown across a park by a strong gust of wind, injuring children. Council members removed a prohibition on staking down the equipment against the West Texas wind. The ban was proposed to limit damage on city sprinkler systems.

He had no problem changing the ordinance to ban the inflatables in parks like Wagner with homes on all sides. But many parks in his North and East Lubbock district have schools and train tracks for neighbors, and he saw no need to force families to go farther for parties.”

Do you think towns need to go this far to enforce more safety for inflatables? Or are they going too far?