Oklahoma Inflatable Companies Discuss Bounce House Safety

Wednesday, May 14th 2014, 5:58 pm
By: News 9

What's being called a freak accident in New York has people concerned about bounce-house safety.

A strong wind gust lifted a bounce house high into the air, with three young children still inside. With the inconsistent winds in Oklahoma, owners of inflatable companies said protection from the wind is the first priority.

"I've seen children get so excited about these things," Mark Robles said.

Robles has worked through the kinks of running an inflatables business during his seven years in operation.

"Every single one of these [inflatables] that you have out there is a whole lot of weight on your shoulders," he said. 

Still, Robles is confident that at Dawn to Dusk Inflatables he's nailed down a solid safety plan.

"You have to use the right stakes and put them in at an angle," said Robles.

Although, he doesn't know exactly what caused the bounce house in New York to soar more than 20 feet off the ground, seriously injuring three children, but authorities are blaming the accident on an unexpected wind gust.

"We want to make sure the winds are good," said Robles.

A national tracking website, RideAccidents.com indicates 10 inflatables were toppled by winds or collapsed under too much weight in a years' time.

In Oklahoma, wind is always a concern. Robles uses a wind gauge to determine if it's safe to set up a bounce house. Robles said if the wind picks up he will encourage customers to shut down the bounce house.

"Safety first, play later," he said. "Our kids are our future and we don't want them getting hurt."

Researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital say there are more than 30 children per day injured - one way or another - in inflatables, annually.

The Oklahoma Consumer Product Safety Commission does not track these types of injuries. For more information on bounce house safety go to www.dawntoduskinflatables.com.