Inflatable amusements like bounce houses and slides provide a lot of fun for children. Consequently many churches and other organizations use them for ministry events, but don’t let this commonplace use lull you into complacency. While they may be an effective outreach tool, they are not without risk. Bounce house injuries are increasing at a significant number and so we must be diligent in our planning to ensure they remain a fun experience.
Bounce Houses: Let’s Keep Them Safe and Fun
- Bounce House Use:
- Adult Supervision: Proper supervision is the key! Supervision means watching constantly and not just being in the area! A responsible adult must supervise the inflatable attraction at all times. The use of non-adult volunteers is generally not recommended.
- Age Appropriate: It’s recommended that only children age 6 and older should use bounce houses. Younger children may not have the balance, coordination or strength to safely enjoy one.
- Rules: Before entering, have children take off their shoes, glasses, and jewelry. Make sure they empty their pockets of any sharp objects as well. Also, do not let children of significantly different sizes onto the bounce house at the same time. Don’t allow people to perform flips or engage in rough play inside a bounce house.
- Safety: If the bounce house begins to lose air or if it’s too windy, have all children carefully exit the bouncer. Wind is the number one enemy of a bounce house so pay careful attention to changing weather conditions.
- Insurance Verification:
- Contact your agent to discuss your ministry’s liability exposure.
- Require proof of a current liability insurance policy from the vendor. In Texas, it is the law that bounce house operators have $1 million of general liability insurance but that doesn’t necessarily mean all company’s comply so ask for written proof of insurance via a Certificate of Insurance and equally as important, have them list your organization as an Additional Insured on their liability policy. Verify if the vendor is on the State’s current vendor approved list. If you own a bounce house, the same rules apply including an annual inspection. If you need more information on this, please let us know.
- Setting Up:
- Always have the vendor set up the equipment
Contact us if you want more detailed information on Understanding Inflatable Use and Safety. Have a fun day!