(PRWEB) May 23, 2008
In light of the recent press coverage in relating to the bouncy castle accident case in Rochester, Kent where legal action has been taken against a hirer after a child was injured on a bouncy castle we ask Private Leisure Hire Specialist Richard Howard (as featured on BBC Radio) to outline his 7 top tips to help parents who are looking to host a fun yet safe bouncy castle party do so.
(1) Adult Supervision at all times
It's so important that all bouncy castle users are supervised at ALL times by a responsible adult to ensure that users stay off the walls, the castle doesn't exceed the maximum number of children allowed and that the pegs or sand bags used to secure the castle remain in place.
(2) No Somersaults or Rough Play
The most common cause of an accident using a bouncy castle is down to somersaulting, rough play or wrestling, it's so important that (1) users are informed before using the castle that this is not permitted and (2) if the responsible adult notices that this begins to happen that it is stopped immediately.
(3) Similar Size Users Only
If hosting a family party or event where there's a range of different ages of children that will want to use the castle it's essential that ONLY children of similar sizes and ages use the unit at the same time. The easiest way to operate this is to have a rotor where by e.g. children between 5-8 use the castle for 10 mins & then children between 9-12 use it for the next 10 minutes and so on.
(4) Public Liability Insurance
When hiring a Bouncing Castle it's so so important that the company you're hiring the castle from carries a minimum of £1m pounds public liability insurance, if in doubt ask in advance and / or ask for your hirer to bring their public liability insurance certificate with them on the day of your booking. If hiring a castle at a local pub or venue which serves alcohol it's important to ensure that your hirer's insurance includes hiring the unit on licensed premises where liquor is sold as many standard policies don't include this but many give the option to add this on.
(5) Accepting Liability
On the day of your booking you will no doubt be asked to sign a terms and conditions agreement which simply states that any incidents or injuries made whilst the castle is hired out to you are not the responsibility of the bouncy castle company and that you are accepting liability should an incident occur. Therefore it's important that you ensure users abide by the ts and cs as any injury claims could be made against you.
(6) User Restrictions
If you've hired a child's bouncy castle then adults and teens MUST keep off the unit, the material used to build child's castles is typically a much thinner than that of an adult unit and so there is a good reason why units are classed as "not suitable for adults" and others as adult bouncy castles. You must also ensure that you do not exceed the maximum number of users the castle can hold (your hirer will be able to advise you of what this is).
(7) Weather Restrictions
Do not risk using a castle or bouncy slide during heavy winds, rain or snow. the HSE says that bouncy castles must not be used if the wind picks up above 24mph. During times of heavy rain or snow it becomes to dangerous to use the castle due to the rain and mud brought in by users who hop on & off the castle making it to slippery to use. Some units include rain covers which are suitable for light rain and showers however during ongoing bad weather I advise the unit is vacated & wiped down with a towel when the weather dies off, before using it again.
And remember, if in doubt always ask your castle hirer at the beginning of your booking and ensure that you get their phone number so that any safety questions can be answered immediatly.
This article has been written by Private Leisure Hire Specialist Richard Howard of Kent's Bouncy Parties with the aim to inform parents of the do's and don'ts when hiring a bouncy castle and to help prevent any further accidents on inflatable equipment. For more information please visit: http://www.BouncyParties.co.uk