Just a month ago, I was talking about a proposed ban on allowing inflatable structures of any kind being permitted on the street during the royal wedding. A few months ago, town officials were looking to ban an inflatable Santa Claus during Christmas season. There have been many stories that I have written about for this blog wherein authorities ban inflatables – including inflatable games and bounce castles. Most of the time, these bans don’t usually come with good reasoning.
For instance, a story in The Katy Times out of Texas, discusses a moratorium just issued for the next four months regarding the permission of allowing inflatable structures:
“In a March 8 memo, building official fire marshal and assistant public works director James Cook said he has received numerous requests concerning the placement of inflatable structures on top of buildings to capture the attention of possible customers.
‘The requests range from balloons to lifelike figures and also animated figures. The last request was for a large, ‘King Kong’ type inflatable structure,’ he wrote. ’I think that it is in the best interest of the citizens of Katy and the City of Katy to either appoint a committee or the planning commission to make recommendations to the city council concerning the type of structures or devices, the placement of the same (and) the height of the same that will be allowed.’”
The claim that the town is making regards the lack of visual appeal that these inflatables may have in the town of Katy. This may be taking the idea of regulating inflatables to a level that is slightly over-controlling. If a business wants to use inflatables to promote its wares or services, it should be allowed as long as it doesn’t threaten the safety or wellbeing of the general public. Hopefully, Katy’s new council will see inflatables for what they are – an excellent way to promote and also have fun.
There are a significant number of uses for inflatable products, but you already know that, especially if you read this blog at all. First and foremost, inflatables are used to entertain with inflatable slides and bounce houses at birthday parties and other gatherings. The military also uses inflatables to make decoys and doctors actually use inflatables to help with the movement of large and/or at-risk patients in a simple manner. This is just the beginning though, because every week it seems like a new inflatable product comes out.
For instance, if you have ever been in a car accident, you know how much it can hurt to hit an airbag or get pulled back by a seatbelt. An article in Torque News is reporting that Ford Motor Company has developed a new line of inflatable seatbelts that protect passengers sitting the rear of the car:
“Functioning like a standard seat belt in normal everyday use, Ford’s unique inflatable rear belts reduces pressure on the chest while helping to control head and neck motion. Furthermore, it does not use the traditional heat-generating chemicals to induce expansive gas.”
As mentioned, the belts do not inflate using the chemicals that airbags use, which can irritate the eyes and skin. This rear seatbelts use cold compressed gas, which is less irritating:
“The use of cold compressed gas instead of a heat-generating chemical reaction – which is typical of traditional airbag systems – means the inflated belts feel no warmer on the wearer’s body than the ambient temperature. The inflatable belts also fill at a lower pressure and a slower rate than traditional airbags, because the device does not need to close a gap between the belt and the occupant.”
There are seemingly no bounds to what can be done with inflatables in the future. However, I will leave the development to the custom inflatables experts and just enjoy the combo jumper in my backyard!
Inflatable bounce houses are a quintessential staple of the best birthday parties that you went to as a kid and the parties you will inevitably have for your kids. They are a bunch of fun for everyone at the party – letting the kids bounce up and down and allowing the parents to relax in lawn chairs – but the fun can end quickly if safety precautions are not taken.
For instance, a recent incident featuring an unsecured bounce house in Arizona ended up in some injuries, according to story in Yahoo News:
“Alissa Baray and her sister Jessica Baray romped inside an inflatable bounce house during a birthday party in their backyard in Marana, Ariz., on Saturday. A strong gust lifted the bounce house from the lawn, dumping Jessica and carrying Alissa some 110 feet in the air.
Finally, the inflatable amusement landed on a flat rooftop in the Pima County neighborhood, shattering roof tiles and breaking off its own engine.
Ten-year-old Alissa Baray suffered a concussion and several cuts and bruises. She was treated at a Tucson trauma center and released. The girls’ father suffered an ankle injury, giving chase to the errant bounce house.”
One of the girls is seriously injured right now and recovering day by day. This story highlights the importance of carefully completing all safety precautions required by the instructions or the helper from the inflatable company. By making sure that a bounce house is absolutely, positively secured to the ground beneath it, less and less people will be put into danger.
After all, the most important part about bounce houses is that kids have fun playing in them, right? No one should be worrying about the safety of the bounce house once children are already playing in it. Prepare for any possible complications that may come up and let the kids have fun!
Inflatables are a boatload of fun – no one’s arguing about that. However, as you know if you read this blog, they can be used for so much more than just bounce castles and inflatable slides. Just a few months ago, I wrote about inflatable medical tents that can be deployed anywhere medical assistance is needed:
“The inflatable, plug-and-play hospital… set up in Haiti consisted of 9 tents – each more than 1,000 square feet, according to Hocine Bouhabib, a logistics director at MSF. The tents have plastic-tile flooring, and are made from the same fabric used for inflatable lifeboats. Interior and exterior walls are constructed of nylon and space is left between them so air can be pumped in for an insulating effect.”
Little did I know, but inflatables are extremely important in the medical field beyond emergency hospital areas. Inflatables are actually used to help move patients around as well! A system made by a company in England just received a patent from the US to allow distribution, according to Thomas Net News:
“ ‘This particular patent is key to our company’s entry into an emerging new field of patient positioning, namely Safe Anatomic Positioning(TM), or the ability to raise, lower, and adjust selected parts of the body while the patient is on an operating table or in another hospital unit – without requiring nurses to manually lift patients and use towels or linens to prop them up,’ said Robert Weedling, founder and chairman of Airpal Patient Transfer Systems.”
Being able to position patients easily is key to the medical field’s efficiency and the safety of both patients and medical professionals. Lifting is one of the major reasons that nurses and assistants get hurt in hospital settings. Inflatable lifting systems make these injuries less likely to happen. They also make other options more readily available to the doctors:
“…the systems also have the capability of introducing heat, coolness, and pulsating pressure; enable improved patient hygiene; and offer a ventilating controlled incline capability that can automatically adjust the position of a patient in response to monitored changes in the patient’s breathing.”