December 3, 2012
Some people may have seen news reports this past week on a study released examining a rise in injuries sustained while playing on moonbounces. This is obviously very concerning news, so we would like to use this posting to educate you parents on the safe use of inflatable equipment. Astro Jump makes safety our first and most important concern. If the customer reviews the rules for safe operation of the equipment and the inflatable is set up correctly, there is no reason anyone should get hurt. Moonbounces are a very safe form of entertainment if operated correctly. Here are our primary rules for safe operation:
1) Different Sized Children
The number one way children get hurt when using a moonbounce, obstacle course or moonbounce combo is when children of different age groups or sizes play in them at the same time. There is no set rule when it comes to this because not all 9 year olds are the same size for example. The key is to use your best judgement when allowing your child to play on a moonbounce. In order for the moonbounce to be operated safely, only children of the same approximate size should use it at the same time. If there are varying ages and/or sizes of children, two lines should be made — one for the smaller children and another for those that are bigger.
2) Do Not Overload the Inflatable
Every inflatable has a weight limit that should be followed by the operators. If too many children are on the moonbounce, moonbounce combo or inflatable slide at the same time, accidents tend to occur. Most of these accidents are from children bumping into each other. We never give customers an exact number of children that can use the pieces because once again, not all children are the same size. If you have trouble estimating everyone’s weight on the spot to see if it is too much for the inflatable, please err on the side of caution. By using common sense one can tell if a moonbounce has too many children on it. If children are bumping into each other, please make a few children exit and wait their turn.
3) No Excessive Rough Housing
Moonbounces and all inflatables are designed for children to bounce around have fun. It is a great time for them to let loose and act a little crazy. While acting crazy and jumping around is absolutely encouraged, there is such thing as too crazy. For example, if children are running into each other on purpose, they are playing too rough. If children are doing flips and lunging into the sides, it is too rough. If anyone is purposefully tripping others or being too mischievous, they are probably playing too rough. The key to operating a moonbounce safely is to set your standards for fun play high. This means encouraging fun for everyone as long as no one flips or plays too rough. If children continue to break these rules after one warning, we suggest making them come out so that the other children can play safely.
4) Windy Days
Wind can make a good time end badly. A properly secured inflatable is anchored on all corners. What is used to anchor the piece depends entirely on what the piece is. For most of our pieces, but not all, Astro Jump uses 18 inch hooked stakes that are driven into the ground. These provide a strong anchor for the majority of our pieces. For larger inflatables we use even longer stakes or in some occasions giant water barrels. But even with a strong anchor, a big wind gust can make an inflatable move. We advise our customers not to use the inflatable and to deflate it immediately if the wind or wind gusts meet or exceed 25 mph. While a party is all about having fun, do not test the limits with the wind. Please use common sense and deflate the equipment if the winds pick up.
5) Adult Supervision
This should go without saying, but every moonbounce, waterslide, obstacle course or other inflatable should be supervised by an adult at all times to ensure safe use. Children will not enforce the rules we listed above, so it is your job to provide the supervision whenever children are on the inflatable. If you need to leave the equipment for a while, make sure another adult takes your place to enforce the rules or kindly ask the children to exit the inflatable until you return.
Astro Jump never likes to see unsafe operation of inflatables in the news. Most problems, however, can be averted by safe operation of the equipment. If you have concerns about how to use the equipment, we stress that you do not hesitate to ask one of our representatives for clarification.
If you are interested in seeing more about this latest story, the Diane Sawyer Show did a piece on the safe operation of inflatables. The instructor in the clip makes some good points and as you will see, one of Astro Jump’s moonbounces is featured when they discuss SAFE moonbounce operation.