Sorry if you had your heart set on one but as of 2022, I’m afraid that I don’t offer my shows and entertainment at children’s birthday parties in halls with bouncy castles. I know they can be great fun for children and parents do occasionally tell me “we went to a party and there was a bouncy castle and my son had great fun!”
But from my experience from entertaining at over 800 birthday parties and many other kinds of events, when there is a bouncy castle, there are almost always children in tears and frequent accidents on them and they suck the joy out of the party. This firm of solicitors even has a page on their website just for dealing with bouncy castle injuries
When I run a party, I have great control of the children and my reviews often comment on how amazed they were at the focus of the children I had. This is something I’ve developed from years of experience. When it comes to bouncy castles, nobody is really in control of the children and things often turn to chaos.
The companies drop them off unmanned and parents never seem to know how to manage the children. They all get on it at once and all the parents are stressed waiting for their little one to get bashed by a bigger child. At the last party where I did a show with a bouncy castle, a child was climbing onto the high sides of it (usually happens when the castle doesn’t have a roof) with a hard floor to the side of it. There were no mats on the side. I told the mum of the party, and she told the mum of the child climbing; to which she just laughed and let her daughter repeatedly climb there.
I want my parties to be brilliant fun and everyone super happy and to leave with big smiles.
If you are having a bouncy castle, the following guidelines are good to follow from this excellent article in The National Library of Medicine “Are inflatable play structures really safe for our children?”:
- ” There should be responsible adult supervision, paying close attention to the children at play at all times during its use.
- The equipment should be set up, operated and supervised by the hire company’s own staff.2
- A rotation system for different age or size groups should be used, together with the observance of an age limit for users. There are special inflatables available for adolescents and adults.
- A safety distance of 1 m to 2 m should be kept around the facility, leaving the entrance and exit points free at all times. At the access to the bouncer, there must be a ramp that covers the entire width of the entrance arch. Likewise, there must be some type of material that cushions possible falls, such as mats or foam. A simple carpet is not enough; also, curbs, benches, trees or other accessories should not be present in that area.
- The number of children using the bouncy castle must be limited to avoid overcrowding. This will allow each child to have safe space to play in.13,14
- It is forbidden to climb and/or hang from the walls of the inflatable.
- Children should not be allowed to use the bouncy castle in adverse weather conditions such as high wind or in wet weather (inflatables can flip over and slippery surfaces may cause injury). It is recommended to deflate the installation when winds exceed 45 km/h.
- All children must be made to remove footwear (always wear socks).
- Removal of hard or sharp objects such as jewelry, buckles, pens and other similar pocket contents.
- The castle must be adequately secured to the ground and sited away from obstacles such as fences or overhead power. They should be regularly inspected while in use.”