6 Crucial Bounce House Safety Tips
by Ann Mifsud
When organizing a bounce house party for your kid’s birthday, you would want to make sure all goes according to plan, so your young guests can enjoy all you have prepared for them in full safety.
Here are a handful crucial safety tips you should be mindful of to make sure a kids’ bounce house party event is a total success.
When followed, your guests are sure to leave the venue all smiles, chattering about the wonderful time they had at your kid’s bounce house party.
- Making sure kids are safe when using a bounce house
- Precautions before setting up the bounce house
- Preventive safety measures before kids use the bounce house
- Instructions children need to know when using the bounce house
- Bounce houses’ safety according to kids’ ages
- What to do if a bounce house loses air
If these precautions are adhered to, you can put your mind at rest that all guests, young and old alike, are enjoying themselves in a safe environment during your kid’s bounce house party.
1. How do I make sure kids are safe when using a bounce house during party?
Like most kids’ fun activities, bounce houses are generally safe if the operators and parents make sure the proper precautions are in place. You don’t want to spoil your child’s special day by not taking the essential precautionary procedures.
One crucial way to increase safety is ensuring that the company where you are acquiring your inflatable from, is reliable, reputable and never rents equipment that’s anything less than top notch.
Prior to choosing the company you will be hiring your bounce house from, ask to view reports of safety inspections provided by third parties to confirm that their equipment is up to standard for operating conditions and injury prevention.
You should also verify that they are an authorized rental company and that they hold the relevant licenses and insurances required by your state. Make sure no stone is left unturned for maximum peace of mind.
If you want to know more on what these licenses and insurances cover, as well as the overall cost of renting a bounce house for a kid’s party, check out our article How much does it cost to rent a bounce house for a kid’s party.
2. What precautions should be in place before setting up a bounce house for a kids’ party?
Any inflatable equipment should only be set up in an area that is safe enough. It is not advisable to place a bounce house in the centre of the party venue, since any cables that are needed to power the blower could be a cause for injury, tripping or electrocution.
Pro Tip: It is best to place the bounce house at one end of the party area.
Make sure your bounce house is also near an electrical supply, and that the back of the structure is secure and out of bounds. Position your bounce house away from fences, greenhouses, branches and the like, which could potentially be dangerous.
Pro Tip: Always place your bounce house in an area that is openly visible, so that parents and/or supervisors can see their children, even at a distance.
When setting up a bounce house, make sure that it is securely anchored. You don’t want your bounce house to move, in the eventuality of an unannounced gust of wind.
Make sure that there is extra space between the bounce house and any hard surfaces that could constitute an injury hazard. It is recommended that you allow for roughly 3’ to 5’ all around the bounce house.
Ideally the surrounding area around a bounce house, should be covered in safety mats or any other kind of soft-landing gear. Remember that children may also run all around the bounce house when they are playing. Try to set it up as far from any obstructions as is possible. If using safety mats, make sure these are not made of small individual pieces of mats, as kids’ feet can get caught in between, causing them to trip or twist their ankle.
Check that the area is free from any dirt, sharp objects, twigs or animal faeces. Allow some distance between the inflatable and low hanging trees. It is recommended that a bounce house be set up on completely level terrain, but up to a 5% slope can still work (that means for example that for every 10’ of length, you can have 6 inches of height difference at each end). The more inclined the terrain is, the greater the possibility of the bounce house to overturn.
Last but not least, double-check all the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines. Make sure you understand all operating and safety procedures, so that everyone has a safe and fun experience at your bounce house kids’ party event, especially if the company you are renting from doesn’t provide personnel who remain on-site to supervise what is happening within the bounce house.
Read our article 17 Expert Tips For A Bounce House Kids’ Party for more detailed tips on and answers to all your questions prior to organizing a kids’ bounce house party.
3. What preventive safety measures need to be taken before kids use a bounce house at a party?
The following basic bounce house safety tips can help save you a headache or two.
Ask the children to take off footwear, eyeglasses and jewelry before they get into the play inflatable. Ask them to empty their pockets of any sharp objects such as pens or keys that could cause punctures.
Don’t allow children carry bottles, food and drinks inside the bouncy castle. This might lead to messes that you ought to clean up subsequently. Glass bottles and cutlery also pose serious safety issues.
If you intend having kids of different ages playing on your bounce house, be mindful that a smaller child can get hurt by colliding with or falling under an older child.
Attendants should check that bounce houses are not too packed. Doing so will ensure that there is enough space for every kid to comfortably jump, move and play.
An adult should supervise the bounce house at all times. Supervision is far from just being vaguely present somewhere in the area; it means being constantly watchful.
Don’t go over the maximum number of children that can play together at one time in the bounce house.
Read through our article, How many kids can fit in a bounce house? for a better understanding on this.
4. What are important instructions that children need to know to use a bounce house safely?
Before you let kids lose at a bounce house party, it is good to give out some basic instructions.
Make sure all kids, whatever their age, understand that no one is to push others off the inflatable.
If the bounce house is walled, don’t let kids bounce against the walls and crash into one another; this can cause serious injuries. Instruct them not to climb the outside walls, as this could cause the bounce house to topple over. Kids may also fall off the bounce house and hit the ground.
Explain that acrobatics, such as somersaults, whilst inside the bounce house, are not permissible; nor should rough play be allowed.
Don’t leave the bounce house inflated once not in use. Kids might want to sneak in unsupervised.
Ultimately you would want kids to have fun at your bounce house party. Whilst allowing time for free play, you may want to think about having a few structured bounce house games up your sleeve. So head to 6 Thrilling Bounce House Games For A Kids’ Party for some inspirational ideas.
5. Which bounce houses are safe according to kids’ ages?
2 years and under
Most bounce house inflatable safety experts agree that children of this age should not be on inflatables as bounce houses are not made for this age group.
3 to 4 years
Most children in this group are happy to use bounce houses. When you rent a bounce house for this group, make sure to reserve an inflatable that is around 13′ wide and 13′ deep. This will enable more youngster in the bounce house at one time. Kids in this age range can sometimes feel scared of large inflatables like giant slides or water slides. Besides these may pose safety issues for such young kids.
5 to 10 years
Children in this age bracket are trying to find something a bit larger than the ususal bounce house. A great option for kids this age would be an inflatable combo bouncer. Combos incorporate a bounce house and a slide all into one unit. These inflatables are larger than a bounce house and permit children to do a lot more than simply bounce. This age group also love water slides during the summer time and interactive games possibly during the cooler months. Though, they may not yet be ready for jousting, boxing, or bungee runs, you may wish to consider an obstacle course as something they could well enjoy safely.
11 to 18 years
This group is generally past the age for bounce houses. They want something more interactive like a slip-n-slide or larger water slides. Interactive games are also perfect for them. The most common inflatables amongst this cluster are the Big Baller, jousts, bungee runs, and bouncy boxing. Since kids this age love competing against each other, interactive inflatables are perfect for this!
6. What to do if a bounce house loses air
If the bounce house at your kid’s party starts to lose air, don’t think twice! Call the kids out instantly.
Because kids would be having fun, they would be oblivious to the fact that there is something is wrong with the bounce house. Hence, the importance of having an observant adult constantly keeping watch.
When kids are continuously jumping inside an inflatable that’s losing air, a number of things can happen. The bounce house fabric itself becomes loose, leading to damage to the inflatable, which progressively gets torn and ripped, especially at the seams.
Besides the possibility of costing you extra money due to the damage incurred to the bounce house, even more worrying is the increased risk of injury of any of the kids at the party. It is important to take immediate action should you notice a bounce house losing air, as kids start hitting the hard ground instead of the expected soft and cushioned landing they would have been used to. Should this occur, get all the kids out immediately.
Final thoughts on crucial safety tips when organizing a bounce house kids’ party…
If organizing a bounce house kids’ party is an idea you are contemplating, you would want to have peace of mind, knowing that all your young guests are enjoying themselves in safety. This article exists for precisely this reason.
As you read through it, you will find a number of crucial safety tips you wouldn’t want to miss when organizing a bounce house kids’ party. Truly no stone has been left unturned, so that you can be assured that your bounce house event is one that is memorable for your kid and all the guests.
We have included important safety precautions that should be in place when organizing a bounce house kids’ party and preventive measures that need to be taken. There are also important instructions to give kids before they start using the bounce house, as well as tips and advice on what to do should your bounce house start losing air during the party.
We have also included categories of bounce houses that are safe according to kids’ ages. Finally, we truly hope you will find this article useful and that it will answer all your safety concerns regarding bounce house kids’ parties. Additionally, you will find interesting links to other articles related to bounce house inflatables you may wish to read.
Hi I'm Ann
Mom to three kids, I am the proud co-founder of Easy Kids' Parties. After a career in journalism and education, I diverted my skills to creating this website, with the aim of helping all those parents out there who wish to organize amazing and memorable parties for their kids but feel overwhelmed at the idea. Discover more...