In the spotlight: Bouncy castle safety

Published: 4 Aug 2016

When we think of bouncy castles, we think of children laughing and having fun. These seemingly harmless inflated structures do not make us worry about possible health and safety issues, after all what harm can a colourful piece of rubber filled with air cause?

However, in recent news, incidents involving bouncy castles have resulted in the death of a child and a toddler being sent to hospital. In this article we look at two cases which have brought bouncy castle safety under the microscope.

In the first instance, a case in Harlow occurred when Summer Grant, 7, died after the bouncy castle she was playing on was blown away. Paramedics were called to Harlow Town Park in Essex, where an event organised by Thurston Fun Fairs was taking place. A woman, 24, and a man, 27, were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by gross negligence, and bailed.

In an incident on 3 August 2016, nine children sustained injuries with at least one being sent to hospital. It has been reported that the inflatable slide broke away from its moorings during a carnival in Dorset. Investigations are still ongoing.

These unfortunate situations highlight the need for risk assessments, safe systems of work, and stringent opening and closing safety checks. Factors such as equipment malfunction and inclement weather patterns also need to be taken into account when planning events where bouncy castles are used.

Contact CSC if you are planning an event and need advice on risk assessments.