Bouncy castles: 5 important tips to ensure your child's safety

Giant inflatables are fun but can be deadly! Before junior gets on one, wise up to steps to protect them.

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Your mini-dynamo can’t get enough of bouncy castles and other inflatables. Full of fun, their eye-catching colours and awesome designs pack quite an appeal for junior.

Nor would you think twice about letting your child play on one. After all, these springy playthings found in pasar malams, carnivals, family-friendly restaurants on weekends and even as a birthday party highlight seem pretty safe. Right?

Not so much. On 1 July, a 3-year-old girl named Ava-May Littleboy reportedly died of a head injury after she was flung off an inflatable trampoline at Gorleston Beach in Norfolk, the UK. This tragic incident took place after the inflatable exploded from the heat of the day.

“Operators of the ride will need to apply to BCA for both an installation permit and operating permit”

There have also been other previous reports of children and adult deaths on giant inflatables as a result of incidents. These include the installations being lifted up and blown away. Yet others have been injured as a result of falling down or off the apparatus, or colliding with other kids.

Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority (BCA) regulates inflatables through the Amusement Rides Safety Act. SmartParents approached the BCA for safety tips parents should take note of when their offspring play on bouncy castles and inflatables.

A BCA spokesman notes that its regulations are in line with international amusement ride safety practices, including Hong Kong and the United States. The standards include requiring inflatable operators to:

* Maintain the air pressure using blowers within the structure.
* Have proper ground anchors to prevent upheaval by wind.
* Provide proper entry and exit.