Knowing the safety risks of bounce houses, inflatables

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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Inflatable bounce houses and water slides can be a great addition to a summer party, but there are a few things kids and parents need to know before booking one for their next event.

David Clanton knows a thing or two about inflatable water slides as the owner of Party Bounce Moonwalk Rentals, LLC. His family has owned the business for thirteen years.

Clanton said before you book any inflatables for your party, you should make sure the business is in good standing.

“Make sure they’re licensed and make sure they’re insured,” he said.

You can check those records through the Kansas Business Center. Perform a "business entity search" by typing in the business’s name. You can then view records for the business, including annual reports.

A search on the KBC website shows Party Bounce Moonwalk Rentals is active and in good standing.

Clanton said you can also contact a business and ask to see any reports of accidents, maintenance reports or inspection logs.

Some cities also require a license through the city where the business is located. A quick search on Wichita’s business license website shows Party Bounce Moonwalk Rentals is licensed.

The next priority is safety through installation.

“We make sure everything is secure. make sure the weather is cooperating, make sure the wind is cooperating. In Kansas, that is a big issue,” Clanton said.

Be sure to ask your rental company in what conditions they will not set up in or when they will need to tear down early.

“Anything 20 miles per hour and over, I will absolutely will not set it up because at 20 miles per hour, you’ll sometimes get gusts at 30 and 40,” Clanton explained.

There should not be anything in or around the inflatable that could create risk of injury, he said.

“We put foam around the stakes that are sticking out of the ground. that way, if a kid is running, or an adult, they won’t hurt them. and if they do hit them, it’s just gonna be that they’re hitting foam,” Clanton said.

He also requires one of his employees or the adult who is renting the inflatable to supervise. Otherwise, he says the injury is much more likely.

“With anything bounce house related, water slide related, obstacle course related…absolutely no flips. No somersaults. If they’re used in the wrong way, they can absolutely get hurt,” he said.

Clanton asks kids and adults to be smart.

“If you think it’s dangerous, don’t do it,” he said. “They’re super fun and kids can have a great time on them. Just follow the rules.”