Are bouncy castles safe?

Children love bouncy castles and they can be great fun - but it's worth making sure a few safety checks are in place whether using a public one or hiring one for a party...

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Kids and bouncy castles go together like fish and chips, right? If you’re at a fair or local park and see one, you can’t walk past one without your child wanting to jump. And loads of people hire bouncy castles for summer parties. 

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But how safe are bouncy castles? And what are the risks of your child jumping on one?

How safe are public bouncy castles? 

If you’re at a fair or local park that has a bouncy castle, there are a few things to look out for that will help you decide if it’s OK for your child to jump on it.

In the main, you really want to make sure they don’t get injured by other children on it OR by rolling off it (probably the most common causes of accidents on them).

We checked RoSPA’s (the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) website which gives some great pointers on what to look out for when you’re at a public bouncy castle that suggest it’s being well and run and therefore, probably safe.

They include:

  • making sure the castle looks as thought it’s tethered securely
  • checking there is a large extended mat at the open side of the bouncy castle to protect any falls or rolls beyond the ‘walls’
  • ensuring there is at least one adult supervising 
  • seeing that the supervisor’s checking that the bouncy castle’s not overcrowded, that the children on it don’t get too rough and that shoes or anything with sharp buckles on etc are taken off.

What to check if you’re hiring your own bouncy castle

There are some safety tips to bear in mind if you’ve decided to have a bouncy castle at your child’s birthday party or another event, too.

Before you hire a bouncy castle, ask the firm you’re think of using to give you guidelines on:

  • how to inflate and moor it safely
  • how to inspect the inside of a bouncy castle
  • how many children should be on it at once
  • what to do in wet or windy weather.

You’ll also need to think about:

  • having a rota so there’s always at least one adult watching at any one time
  • making sure children of roughly the same age are on at the same time if you have younger and older children
  • letting children know the rules before they go on the bouncy castle – no shoes, no food, no being rough etc.

Do you need insurance to hire a bouncy castle?

It’s not a legal requirement to have insurance if you hire a bouncy castle: reputable hire firms will have insurance, though this is generally covers damage to the castle and it’s your responsibility to ensure no one gets hurt.

Some firms’ insurance may not cover damage at events where alcohol is served: if you’re concerned check with the hire firm you use to get a full rundown of what their insurance covers. 

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