In Depth

How dangerous are bouncy castles?

MP calls for temporary ban following death of second child in two years

The death of a four-year-old girl who was reportedly thrown from a bouncy castle after it exploded has prompted an MP to call for a temporary ban on inflatables in public areas.

The child is believed to have been jumping on the blue inflatable on a beach in Gorleston, Norfolk, when it burst and sent her flying up to “30ft in the air”.

She suffered critical injuries when she landed on the sand and is thought to have suffered a cardiac arrest, reports The Times.

A Norfolk Police spokesperson confirmed the death, saying: “Officers were called to Lower Esplanade around 11.15am following reports a child had been thrown from a bouncy castle.”

How did it happen?

Witnesses reported that the bouncy castle exploded as a result of the heat as temperature soared.

Kenna Cracknell, who was at the beach with her family, wrote on Facebook: “Was at Gorleston beach on the bouncy castle with my nephew and son to witness the bouncy castle opposite me explode with a little girl being catapulted around 30ft in the air and come straight back down on the sand.”

Cracknell added: “Please can everyone share this post and make everyone aware of how dangerous bouncy castles can be. I will never let my son on one again.”

Are bouncy castles dangerous?

The latest death comes just two years after a seven-year-old girl died when the bouncy castle she was on blew away because it had not been properly secured. According to a judge at the trial of two fairground workers charged over the tragedy, Summer Grant’s was “entirely preventable”. Married couple William and Shelby Thurston, aged 29 and 26, were each jailed for three years after being found guilty of manslaughter by negligence.

Youth organisation the Boys’ Brigade has cited statistics that show approximately 10,000 injuries arise from bouncy castles each year in the UK. According to the organisation: “Most of the injuries are caused by children bouncing off the inflatable and onto the ground, being hit by other children or just falling awkwardly.”

What can be done about it?

Robert Haflon, the Conservative MP for Harlow, Essex, wants the Government to consider a temporary ban on inflatables in public areas.

He wrote on Twitter: “After two horrific tragedies, government need to look at update of regulations and inspection regime and consider a temporary ban on bouncy castles in public areas until we can be sure that they are safe.”

The judge in the Summer Grant trial also called for greater regulation of fairgrounds and said lawmakers must “take the steps necessary to make it compulsory for fairground operators to have proper wind speed measuring equipment”, reports The Independent.

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