Bouncers are by nature inherently safe. Your children will be jumping on cushions of air, contained by soft colorful walls with mesh panels that allow you to observe at all times. However, accidents do happen and are almost always a result of inattention or poor planning. Here are some important tips to keep your event running smoothly and accident-free.

Before Set Up
You probably already know where your inflatable bouncer, slide, or game will go. Walk around that area with this checklist:

• Your area must be flat. Your inflatable cannot be set up on a slope.
• You will need at least 5 feet of space on all sides of the inflatable
• Make sure there are no overhanging branches or power lines that would be too close to the inflatable
• Do you have a sprinkler system? If so, make sure you know exactly where the sprinkler lines are and mark them for your rental company. They will need to tether your inflatable by staking it into the ground - with stakes as long as 40 inches!
• Find our where any underground gas, water, or power lines are located and have the locations marked.
• If you don't know where your sprinkler lines are, or gas, water, or power lines, let your rental company know in advance so they can bring the appropriate amount of weighted sandbags to secure the inflatable
• Clear the entire event area of debris, including sticks, rocks, toys, and animal waste
• Do you have accessible power? Ask your rental company how many blowers your inflatables will use. You should have a separate 20 amp circuit available for each blower (they will have appropriate extension cords). If you don't, let them know and you'll be able to rent a generator to power the blowers

Bouncers, slides, and other inflatables cannot be used in inclement weather. In addition to rain, inflatables are not safe to use if the winds exceed 25 miles per hour. There's nothing your rental company can do if the weather gets bad - make sure you know their cancellation/refund policy in case of inclement weather.

During Your Event
Once things are under way you should have a yard or park filled with cheering, screaming children having the time of their lives. Here are a few things to keep in mind during the event:

• Sunscreen: the kids will be bouncing and playing for hours and probably won't want to go inside ever again. Make sure they have sunscreen!
• Follow the rules: your inflatable will have a sign built onto it near the entrance posting the rules created by the manufacturer of the inflatable. Know them and follow them.
• No shoes, jewelry, food or drink: anyone entering your bouncer must remove their shoes, jewelry, watches, etc. This includes sharp object like keys from pockets. Anything that could fall out and scratch the inflatable. It's safer all around, and you don't want a repair cost deducted from your deposit! Likewise food, drinks, and gum should be kept out. Also note that no silly string can be used in an inflatable – the chemicals will damage the vinyl.
• Split kids by size: most significant injuries on bouncers come from having large kids mixed in with smaller ones. Bouncers are, well, bouncy. Regardless of temperament or intent, the kids will be bumping and falling into each other. Make sure that only children of about the same size are in the bouncer at any one time. Rotate them in and out in shifts by size.
• Getting out: the step leading out of a bouncer is inflatable and bouncy too, and getting out is awkward. This is the most common area for scraped knees and elbows. Make sure an adult is available to help people out of the bouncer.
• Supervise: jumping and sliding and climbing is great fun, but you want to make sure things don't get out of hand. A responsible adult should be observing each of your inflatables at all times to make sure things stay under control.

With this information in mind you should be well prepared to host a smooth and problem-free party or event. We hope you enjoy your interactive inflatable and the attention that it's sure to bring!

Author's Bio: 

Brian Wood writes about issues in the inflatable recreation industry. He works for Cutting Edge Creations, a leading manufacturer of inflatables for over 20 years. He also manages, the most comprehensive free directory to find rental companies for bounce houses, moonwalks, and inflatable slides.