If you've had a party for kids, you might have rented an inflatable bounce house. Or maybe you went to one of those places that has a number of bounce houses -- along with rooms to eat your pizza and cake.
While you were choking down that Costco birthday cake, you may not have considered that interestingly, not all of these facilities or rental companies have complex liability waivers or other documents to protect themselves from the inevitable.
It seems like a great business to buy several bounce units and set up a kids' play facility, but what many don't realize is the astronomical liability that comes with dealing with children. Your children.
If you think about it, a bounce house facility is a lawsuit waiting to happen. According to The Associated Press, 30 children a day are treated in emergency rooms across the United States for injuries sustained in bounce houses.
In fact, there have even been numerous lawsuits involving bounce houses. Out in California, a family sued after their 4-year-old suffered a broken arm when a bounce house was picked up by the wind and sent it tumbling, reports The Appeal-Democrat.
That incident occurred at a public event. The family sued not only the bounce house company, but also the organizers of the event, including the event sponsors. Whether all of the named parties had sufficient liability is debatable. But a lawsuit arose, nevertheless.
That's a fair warning to anyone who allows children to use a bounce house, even those people renting a bounce house for a private party.
In the most severe cases, a wrongful death lawsuit can arise. There haven't been too many reported cases of deaths from bounce houses, but in those cases, the deaths happened when the children struck their heads on a hard surface, writes AP.
So, if you decide to have a bounce house at your next party or event, how can you protect yourself from liability? For one, keep the bounce house away from walls, since you don't want to the risk of any child hitting their heads on a hard surface.
The bounce house should also be well secured to the ground. If it's a windy day, perhaps a bounce house isn't a wise choice for entertaining the children. Finally, there should also be adults supervising the bounce house at all times.
Bounce houses aren't going anywhere in the near future and are only gaining in popularity. But that doesn't mean they're not dangerous.
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