Earlier this week in Fort Lauderdale Beach, a young girl was injured when the Bounce House she was playing in was lifted from the ground due to high winds. For those who are unfamiliar with what a Bounce House is, it is an inflatable toy where children can enter and play. They are most often kept inflated by a continually operating pump and are similar to a trampoline in that they allow the children inside to bounce off the floor and walls.
According to one local news source, the inflatable toy was set up on a cement basketball court, and it is unknown if it was properly tethered down when the winds picked up and lifted the toy off the ground. Video of the incident shows the inflatable flying through the air, some 20-40 feet above the ground. The girl who was inside at the time fell from the airborne inflatable and sustained minor injuries.
Bounce House Regulations in Florida
Since few people own these large inflatables, they are more commonly rented out for the day or weekend. The owner of one local rental agency told reporters that, when secured to the ground properly, these inflatables pose little to no threat. However, he also mentioned that many companies in Florida do not adhere to international safety standards because they are not required to be followed in the State of Florida. A few of these standards are:
- If set up on the grass or a soft surface, use 15-inch stakes to secure the inflatable to the ground;
- If set up on concrete, use heavy sandbags to hold down the inflatable in case of increasing winds; and
- If winds ever get to be over 15 MPH, deflate the toy and take it down.
In the wake of this month’s frightening accident, concerned citizens have called for there to be increased regulation of Bounce Houses and other inflatable toys that may become airborne and injure those who are on board or nearby. Currently in Florida, there are no regulations dictating what kinds of precautions must be taken prior to allowing children to play on or near these toys.
What Is the Required Level of Care?
While there are no firm regulations in place governing safety protocol when using large inflatable toys, rental firms and product manufacturers are still held to a certain duty of care to manufacture, market, and maintain safe products. The current situation in Florida poses an interesting situation because it seems clear on one hand that these large inflatable toys should be properly secured to the ground. However, there is no regulatory framework in place to inform proprietors what the regulations are and what the consequences of a failure to comply may be. If your child has been injured while playing on an inflatable toy, call an experienced Florida personal injury lawyer to have your questions answered.
Has Your Child Been Injured in an Inflatable Toy Accident?
If your child has been injured in any kind of accident involving a dangerous product, you may be entitled to monetary damages to help you recover the costs associated with the accident. This may be the case regardless of whether the injury occurred on another’s property or on your own. However, keep in mind that proving a case of product liability or negligent maintenance may be more difficult than initially expected due to procedural requirements and other hurdles. To ensure that you approach the case with the requisite understanding, call one of the dedicated attorneys at the Florida personal injury law firm of Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC at 866-597-0009 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.