No one was inside an inflatable bounce house when a strong wind gust sent it flying into a western New York electric power transmission tower during a child’s birthday party.
A family in the city of Niagara Falls had gathered Saturday for a backyard party when a big gust of wind blew the bounce house high into the air, WIVB-TV in Buffalo reported.
Amazing video taken by a nearby homeowner shows the bounce house floating through the air and eventually crashing into power lines in the western New York town, according to ABC station WABC in New York.
No injuries were reported in the Saturday incident, and the bounce house was later removed from the wires, WABC said.
In recent years, there have been a series of reported accidents involving bounce houses. Although the actual bounce house seems pretty innocuous, the accidents usually involve falls and faulty installation. Strong winds and poor anchoring can result in either the structure collapsing or becoming air-borne, which can cause series – sometimes fatal – accidents. Although these bounce houses are manufactured with safety in mind, the installations are not always inspected and well-regulated.
There are standard installation guidelines, proper anchoring methods, weight limits, and safe operating protocols – including instructions on the weather conditions to avoid.
Healthychildren.org gives some good tips for parents when allowing their children to play in bounce houses. Bounce House Safety Guide for Parents:
- Follow all the recommended guidelines for safe installation including anchoring. The bounce house should be situated away from any fences, greenhouses, branches, etc., which would be dangerous should a child fall onto them.
- Consider limiting use to children 6 years of age and older.
- Kids should take off footwear, eyeglasses, and jewelry before getting on the set.
- Take any sharp objects (pens, keys) out of their pockets/hands before playing (they could easily cause puncture injuries).
- Do not let children of significantly different sizes onto the bounce house at the same time. Smaller kids are at risk of injury from colliding with or falling under an older child.
- Do not allow adults and/or children who are larger than the height/weight that the bounce house is designed for.
- Food, drink, bottles, glasses etc. should not be taken onto the bounce house.
- Supervision should be maintained all the time. If supervision cannot be maintained, the bounce house should be deflated and moved away. Supervision means watching constantly and not just being in the area!
- Children should be informed that they must not push other children off the inflatable. If it is a flatbed, this is especially important so as to avoid broken arms and legs. If the bounce house is of the walled type, then children should not be allowed to bounce against the walls and crash into one another -this can result in collision injuries.
- Follow the advice given on the maximum number of children permitted at any one time and let them on and off in a controlled manner.
- Children should not be allowed to climb onto the outside walls. Flips and rough play should also not be allowed.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bounce house as a result of faulty installation or individuals failing to follow safe protocols, contact us at Brannon & Brannon for a free consultation: (850)659-2252 or through our website www.brannoncanhelp.com