Warning over bouncy castle safety after inflatable takes flight in Killinarden
By Mary Dennehy
EMERGENCY services were called to Tallaght on Good Friday after a gust of wind swept a bouncy castle and its young occupants over a garden wall and into a nearby field.
The incident in Tallaght happened the day before British seven-year-old Summer Grant was tragically killed when the bouncy castle she was playing in was blown away at a fun park in Essex, England.
Following the tragic death of Summer, Tallaght parent Louise Shiels contacted The Echo to warn local families of the dangers of bouncy castles – after her seven-year-old daughter was one of a number of children playing in an inflatable that lifted over a wall in Killinarden on Good Friday.
Louise’s daughter, who fell out of the bouncy castle mid-flight, broke her wrist in two places and sprained her ankle.
Louise, whose daughter was treated in Tallaght Hospital, told The Echo: “Hearing the sad news of that little girl who died in England I know that what happened to my daughter could have been so much worse – but I felt the need to warn other parents that it happened.
“Bouncy castles are so popular, everyone gets them, the kids go crazy for them.
“However, even the slightest gust of wind can pick them up and they will take off – regardless of there being adult supervision.
“The bouncy castle last Friday went straight over the roof of the shed and into the nearby park and it was pure panic stations.”
Louise’s own mother Anne Werner was present at the time and she said: “We just want people to be aware of the dangers associated with bouncy castles.
“I’ll never forget seeing my little granddaughter lying on the ground, it was such a scary situation for both the kids and the parents – to see the bouncy castle just swept up and thrown down the field.
“However, her wrist will heel and hopefully her experience can help highlight the dangers associated with bouncy castles – especially unpredictable weather.”
Dublin Fire Brigade confirmed to The Echo that one fire engine and two emergency ambulances attended the scene in Donomore on March 25 at around 3.30pm.
The HSE has published guidance aimed at anyone who owns, operates or hires inflatable play equipment including bouncy castles.
As the summer months approach, people are advised to visit www.hse.ie for tips on safe outdoor play and also reminded to take weather, and its unpredictability, into consideration when organising outdoor play options.