Companies stress safety as bounce house concerns grow - 8 News NOW

Companies stress safety as bounce house concerns grow

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LAS VEGAS - Bounce houses are supposed to provide fun for kids, but many people are concerned about the structures’ safety – especially in windy conditions.

Recent stories show bounce houses rolling (and, in some cases, flying) away because of high winds.

Wind gusts are common in the Las Vegas valley, so the owners of Sky Jumpers Bounce Houses say they use 80-pound water bags to weigh down the structures.

Under windy conditions, the company will use multiple anchors at each corner of the bounce house. Company representatives say bags are safer than stakes, which can come off the ground.

The company also informs customers of basic safety precautions before leaving. Those precautions include no shoes, animals, or sharp objects inside the bounce house. The rules are prominently displayed next to the bounce house’s entrance.

"I have little brothers, and I wouldn’t want to put anybody else’s kids in anything that I wouldn’t put my little brothers inside,” said Sky Jumpers Bounce Houses owner Michael Peterson. “So, that's pretty much how I think about it."

Every customer has to sign an agreement that states the customer is responsible for anything that happens during the customer’s rental time. However, the company is obligated to have insurance for rentals at public parks. It is also responsible for making sure the customer understands company guidelines.

"We go over the rental agreement with them. They read it. They sign it. They know it’s pretty much an at-risk agreement. So, when they sign it, that’s pretty much our legal document to show,” Peterson said.

Bounce house injuries nationwide are skyrocketing. According to numbers gathered by medical professionals, injuries rose 1,500 percent between 1995 and 2010. In 2011, 10 inflatable devices collapsed or flew away - hurting at least 40 people.

The most recent incident involving an inflatable structure occurred May 31 in Colorado. An inflatable slide flew away during a lacrosse tournament. Two children suffered injuries, but are expected to be okay.

Last month, high winds caused a bounce house to go airborne in upstate New York. Three children suffered injuries; one is still in a coma.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating both incidents.

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