The two boys seriously injured when the inflatable toy rose into the air and floated away remained in the hospital in stable condition late Tuesday, NBC News reported. A girl also playing in the bouncy castle fell out as it became airborne and suffered only minor injuries.
State officials shared these tips from experts:
- Inflatables should not be used when wind gusts exceed the manufacturer’s recommendations (refer to owner’s manual).
- Devices should be set up away from power lines and fences.
- Users must remove their shoes and any loose or sharp objects.
- Users should be grouped together by size to ensure only those of a similar size are allowed in at the same time.
- Do not exceed the capacity outlined in the owner’s manual.
- The inflatable device should be anchored to the ground according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This typically involves stakes corkscrewed or driven into the ground or the use of sandbags. Any ropes should be attached to minimize tripping, especially near entrances and exits.
- Ensure blowers are securely fastened and that outlets have proper voltage.
- Exterior landing surfaces should be covered in a soft material such as a gym mat or other thick foam material and extend at least four feet from the opening.
“As this week’s tragic incident in the Capital District demonstrates, inflatable toy houses can become dangerous when not secured properly," Cuomo said. "I urge all parents to exercise caution when installing these devices, carefully follow the instructions and keep kids off them on windy days. My thoughts and prayers are with the family in South Glens Falls and we wish their children a full and speedy recovery.”
Witnesses said there was a violent gust of wind, the Weather Channel reported; forecasts had predicted winds of only 5-10 mph for the area that day.