Below is a statement from International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions spokesperson David Mandt in response to the Rossen Reports segment on injuries to children from inflatable bounce houses
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What Parents Should Know about Inflatables
- The safety of our guests is the top priority of the attractions industry.
- Inflatables are safe as long as the operating and participant guidelines are followed.
- The majority of the injuries that occur do so because the inflatable is misused or the provided safety guidelines aren’t followed.
- Most injuries can be prevented with proper management and supervision.
- Inflatable play structures have fewer injuries than playground equipment found in practically every school yard in America.
- When one considers the number of times a child or adult plays on an inflatable structure, the frequency of injuries is incredibly low.
- Safety is a partnership with parents who need to help make sure their children follow the posted guidelines.
International Industry Safety Standards
- ASTM International Standard (F2374-10, Standard Practice for Design, Manufacture, Operation, and Maintenance of Inflatable Amusement Devices) provides best-practice guidelines for design, manufacturing, installation, and operation of inflatable devices. (For more information on the standard, contact Len Morrissey at ASTM International firstname.lastname@example.org, 610-832-9719.)
- ASTM Standards are developed by 500 attractions owners/operators, manufacturers/suppliers, government regulators, consumer advocates, engineers, and safety experts from around the world.
- As designs continue to evolve and become more elaborate, safety continuously improves.
- Manufacturers provide specific guidelines for operating and maintaining inflatables.
- Some states have strict guidelines for training and operation (e.g. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio) of inflatables.
- If parents rent an inflatable for a party, they should strictly adhere to operating and safety instructions provided, and parents should provide adult supervision at all times.
- Inflatables are growing in popularity.
10 Tips to Help Ensure a Safe Experience
1) Be sure there is adult supervision at all times when children are playing.
2) Be sure there are safety rules posted and that the children are aware of them prior to playing.
3) Do not exceed the capacity of the inflatable. (The maximum capacity is usually posted on the device.)
4) No flipping, wrestling, or horseplay at any time.
5) Only children of approximately the same size should play in an inflatable structure at the same time. Do not allow small children to participate with bigger children.
6) If the inflatable has a slide, make sure only one person is on the slide at the same time.
7) Make sure the inflatable is properly anchored and secured at all times to the tether points according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
8) Discontinue use of equipment if winds are in excess of 15 mph or in the event of rain or other inclement weather.
9) Participants should remove shoes, loose fitting clothing, jewelry, and other personal items before playing. Food, drink, or sharp objects should not be taken into/on an inflatable.
10) If you rent an inflatable, make sure it is from a professional, reputable company that follows and provides detailed safety guidelines for customers.
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