Bouncy castles and other inflatable play equipment are a popular feature at village hall events organised by the hall committee or by a hirer.
The following advice is taken from a checklist developed by PIPA, an inspection scheme set up by the inflatable play industry.
Inflatable play is normally a very safe and pleasurable way for children to exercise whilst having fun.
The PIPA scheme ensures that equipment is tested to a recognised standard both before first use and annually thereafter.
• Have regard to the equipment's intended use
• Bear in mind that users who are outside the intended weight or height range can injure themselves and other users
• Make sure the blower is at least 1.2 metres from the inflatable
• Remember that a serious injury can occur if a user strikes the blower unit
• Make sure the equipment has a current test certificate
• Look for the PIPA tag and check its validity on this site
• Use surround mats if provided as these negate identified risks
• Ensure that children are supervised at all times by a responsible adult. The vast majority of accidents occur through a lack of or poor supervision
• Anchor the inflatable to the ground and ensure that you use every anchor point. Even in non-windy conditions the inflatable can move and creep (perhaps taking it dangerously too close to the blower)
• Hire your inflatable from a reputable operator. Some will try to cut costs on safety by not using the PIPA scheme - always check
• Follow the instructions given to you by the hirer - these are there for the safety of your children
• Hire on the basis of the safest - not the cheapest
• Deflate the inflatable after its use to prevent unsupervised use
• Never allow users to climb on to the walls - most accidents happen this way!
• Never deflate the inflatable whilst it is in use as the users can strike the ground heavily if you do
• Never use the inflatable if you have any doubt as to its safety
• Never throw objects or other people on to the inflatable
• Never allow users onto the inflatable in high winds
Information provided July 2017. Check for updated information here.