July 2, 2018

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Event Safety

Second fatal incident in two years sees MP call for bouncy castle ban in public areas

A three-year-old girl was killed when she was thrown from a bouncy castle on Gorleston beach on Sunday 1 July.

Eyewitnesses say that the inflatable exploded and the child was thrown into the air. She later dies in hospital from her injuries.

The incident follows a similar tragedy in Harlow in 2016 when a seven-year-old girl was killed after the bouncy castle she was playing on was caught by a gust of wind and overturned.

The two fairground workers who were responsible for the Harlow tragedy were jailed last month for manslaughter by gross negligence.

As a result of these two incidents, Harlow MP Robert Halfon has said an ‘urgent investigation’ is needed into the regulation of the inflatables.

He said in a that: “There should be a temporary ban on bouncy castles in public areas until we can ensure they are safe.

“These are two tragic deaths of two beautiful little children in the space of a few years and there needs to be an urgent investigation in the regulation and inspection regimes.

“You cannot risk a tragedy like this happening again.”

What are the rules on bouncy castle safety? Click here.

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Nigel Bown
Nigel Bown
6 years ago

the only similarities so far are there was a child involved and a bouncy castle.
the first incident was down to the operators not securing the castle down appropriately
the second we are still waiting to hear what happened. a knee jerk ban on their use would be unpopular with the general public
a better option would be increased instruction to operators and check by the organisors

Neil Beacock
Neil Beacock
6 years ago
Reply to  Nigel Bown

I see what you are saying Nigel and a full investigation should take place before any permanent measure is put in place. I think the ban mentioned is temporary while the investigation is complete. There are a lot of back street bouncy castle suppliers that are not regulated in any way and do not run with any safety measures in place. Obviously I don’t know any of the details of the latest incident and wouldn’t presume that any safety measures were not in place but any supplier of this type of attraction should run by the same rules especially as… Read more »

6 years ago
Reply to  Neil Beacock


I disagree that there should be a ban as this will not prevent the ‘back street’ operators, (suppliers may not be to blame here) from operating only the legit ones.

More regulation perhaps where you can only be supplied with an inflatable if you show a valid public liability insurance certificate. Also responsibility should lie with who owns the land in ensure competence.

6 years ago

The first was a bouncy castle which blew away due to high winds. The second was an inflatable trampoline… it is believed this may have burst possibly due to the air inside it expanding due to the heat of the day. Both items operate on a completely different method of inflation and have different risks associated with them. Let’s be realistic and perhaps focus on guidance for the manufacturers, owners and the public in how they can ensure a greater degree of safety before the findings of the second incident. Let’s not jump in with both feet otherwise we really… Read more »

6 years ago

Introducing a ban would be a kneejerk and naive reaction. Yes the deaths are terrible but thousands of these are used each year and there is very clear guidance about their safe use (although I note that the current HSE guidance does not refer to excessive heat conditions – maybe it will in future if the investigation concludes this was a contributory factor). Event organisers need to do more than just ask for a copy of the bouncy castle operators public liability insurance – they need to ask for clear risk assessments and operating parameters – they can do their… Read more »