AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – Bounce houses are a popular attraction for children, but they can be dangerous if not properly maintained and secured. Recently, bounce houses have actually gone airborne with children inside. It happened this weekend at a New England farm.
The bounce house was inflated to let it dry out before a fundraiser. It was not anchored to the ground. Two young children made their way inside and were taken into the air with a gust of wind. A two year old boy was critically injured.
Mark Slater, a Buffalo pioneer in the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of inflatable attractions, said “There’s a lot of people that are just not taking the proper steps when they’re mounting it down and securing it.”
ABC Hardware and Rental in Buffalo is the largest distributor of inflatable amusements in western New York, and it prides itself on its safety record. There are warning signs and safety rules clearly posted – “No shoes, no sharp objects, no glasses…”
Some of Slater’s attractions can be found at Bounce Magic, an indoor party center in Amherst. Wind is not a factor here, but safety is always a concern, according to owner Tim Wood. There are attendants monitoring the inflated houses as children quickly move from one jumping haven to another.
“They get really excited,” says Wood. “They love to play and jump but we have to keep a little bit of a control on that.”
Sondra Kirschner said her young son had run the course at Bounce Magic and had taken a couple of mild jolts. She was pleased with the way the party facility was managed. “They have a lot of security people here who actually watch the children, so if they get too pushy or start jumping on each other, stuff like that, they’re pretty good,” she said.
Wood said his establishment is well insured in case anything goes wrong. He says his team is trained in first aid.