We understand the nature of inflatable devices and their unique safety issues.

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Inflatables?

Just a few years ago if you mentioned the word inflatable people in the amusement business would look at you with a puzzled facial expression. If you said “Cloud Bounce or Moon Walk,” a discussion would ensue about the pros and cons of operating these underdeveloped amusement devices. The world has changed and so has this industry, by leaps and bounds - literally. An explosion of growth within the inflatable amusement device industry, an industry within an industry, has brought us a unique form of entertainment. These devices include images and themes, which highlight movies and mimic extreme sports.

We are witnessing the creation of inflatable devices at a feverish pace. They are portable, mechanically simplistic and require very limited investment. They are the exact opposite of a typical amusement ride or device, allowing an inexperienced entrepreneur an opportunity to capitalize on the benefits of operating an amusement device. Inflatable devices are popping up at carnivals, festivals, exhibitions, theme parks, attractions, church grounds, schools, malls, art shows, and even backyard birthday parties.

Inflatable devices offer users activities that can include bouncing, climbing, sliding and feeling your way through a puzzle like maze. Inflatable devices and structures used for amusement purposes generally are classified under the broad heading of amusement rides and devices. Standards for the amusement ride and device industry are generally applicable to inflatable devices. ASTM has developed standards that address the operation, design and inspection of inflatable devices.

Inflatable devices are a prime example of interactive play equipment. These devices are highly participative in nature due to the requirements of the patron to interact with the environment to initiate a desired outcome. Inflatable devices require some degree of physical ability and balance to reasonably negotiate the structure.

There are inherent risks associated with the use of inflatable devices and the patrons using these devices should be aware of those risks. Intentional and inadvertent physical contact, contorted limbs under one’s own weight, and falling from devices onto dense surfaces are some of the more common causes of injury associated with the use of these devices. It is also very important to investigate the owner/operator of the inflatable device. Inexperienced owners/operators can increase the risk of injury for those participating on an inflatable device.