Jump castle accident demonstrates critical need for safety precautions
Jump castle safety precautions to take
May 14, 2014 at 7:46 PM EST - Updated July 20 at 9:37 PM
CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC)
A child remains in a medically induced coma after falling out of a bounce house that flew into the air in upstate New York. A gust of wind lifted a jump castle over 20 feet into the sky with three children inside.
All three fell out, as it was high in the air, and two of the children were left with serious injuries.
Onlookers in South Glens Falls, New York, called it a scene out of horror film.
Neighbors told police the owner of the small, Little Tikes bounce house had the toy for several years and it was staked down when the accident happened.
"The stakes they come with are plastic stakes, so they can break, you can step on them and they'll break," said Jason Olier, owner of Jason's Jump Houses.
Olier says whether it's for personal or commercial use, the stakes are the key to keeping these structures safe.
"We'll stake down all corners and the stakes will be between 18 to 24 inches," said Olier.
He says the size and strength of the stakes is even more important in the Lowcountry.
"We have sandy soil so they come up really easy here," said Olier.
If you buy a personal bounce house at the store, Olier suggest also taking a trip to the home improvement store.
"Just get metal stakes, for tent stakes. Or, use dog ties, the twisty dog ties, those work great also," said Olier. "You want to use between two and four, at least two but we usually put down three."
Olier says besides stakes, wind can make bounce houses dangerous.
"If it's over 20 miles per hour, you shouldn't have any inflatable up," said Olier. "We'll cancel a party if it's too windy like that, they'll be unhappy but it's safer that way."
Olier say that all commercial businesses that operate bounce houses are required by South Carolina law to use a certain amount of stakes. However, no similar rules apply for personal inflatables.
Police in New York say the bounce house incident was an accident and there are no pending charges.