Safety Tips for Using Inflatable Slides

Inflatable slides are a popular form of entertainment for kids at parties, fairs, and other events. These fun and colourful structures can provide hours of enjoyment, but it’s important to remember that they also come with potential safety hazards. According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), there have been numerous injuries involving inflatable amusements. While most of these are minor injuries, it’s crucial to take precautions to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience when using inflatable slides.

In this article, we’ll discuss some safety tips for using inflatable slides, so you can have peace of mind while your kids have a blast.

Safety Tips for Using Inflatable Slides

Choose a Reputable Supplier

When renting or purchasing an inflatable slide, it’s important to do your research and choose a reputable supplier. Make sure that the supplier follows safety regulations and regularly inspects and maintains their equipment. If you’re purchasing an inflatable slide, ensure it meets the safety standards set by the relevant Australian authorities, such as Standards Australia. Look for a certification mark indicating that it has been tested and approved.

Check for Insurance and Certification

Ensure that the supplier has the proper insurance in case of any accidents. A certified supplier should have liability insurance that covers injuries and damages that could occur during use.

Read Reviews and Testimonials

Look up customer reviews and testimonials to get a sense of the supplier’s reliability and service quality. A trustworthy supplier will have positive feedback from previous clients and a good reputation in the community.

Verify Professional Affiliations

Professional affiliations with industry organisations can be a sign of a reputable supplier. These organisations often have strict standards and requirements for membership, indicating a commitment to safety and quality.

Set Up the Slide in a Safe Area

Before setting up the inflatable slide, make sure the area is free of any sharp objects, rocks, or debris. The slide should also be at least 2 metres away from any structures, such as trees or fences. Avoid setting up the slide on uneven or sloped surfaces as this can cause the slide to become unstable. The ideal location for the slide is a flat, open area with plenty of space for kids to run around and play. Read these guidelines for more details.

Ensure Adequate Space for Entry and Exit

The entrance and exit of the inflatable slide should be clear and provide enough space for kids to safely enter and exit. This prevents congestion and reduces the risk of injury as children get on and off the slide.

Check for Overhead Hazards

Be aware of any overhead hazards such as tree branches, power lines, or eaves that could interfere with the slide’s operation or pose a danger to the kids using it.

Consider the Surface Underneath

While the inflatable slide itself is soft, the ground underneath can be hard. Consider placing a protective surface like a mat at the bottom of the slide to cushion the landing for children.

Secure the Slide Properly

In order to prevent the slide from tipping over or collapsing, it’s important to secure it properly. Most inflatable slides come with stakes or sandbags that can be used to anchor it to the ground. If you’re using stakes, make sure they are securely fastened to the ground and that there are no loose or damaged ones. If you’re using sandbags, make sure they are filled to the recommended weight and placed evenly around the base of the slide.

Check Anchors Regularly

Throughout the event, regularly check that the anchors are still secure. This is especially important if there are a lot of kids using the slide or if the weather conditions change.

Use the Right Equipment for Securing

Make sure you are using the correct equipment provided by the manufacturer or supplier to secure the slide. Improper equipment can fail and may not hold the slide in place effectively.

Understand Wind Conditions

On windy days, extra precautions should be taken to ensure the slide doesn’t become airborne. If the wind exceeds the recommended safe levels, it may be necessary to deflate the slide to prevent accidents.

Have an Adult Supervise at All Times

An adult should always be present to supervise kids while they are playing on the inflatable slide. They should also make sure that the slide is being used properly and that there is no roughhousing or dangerous behaviour. It’s also a good idea to have an adult stationed at the top of the slide to ensure that kids are sliding down one at a time and that there is enough space between them.

Train Supervisors on Safety Procedures

Adults supervising should be familiar with all safety procedures and emergency protocols. This includes knowing how to properly operate the slide and how to respond in case of an accident.

Limit the Number of Kids on the Slide

Ensure that the number of children on the slide at any one time does not exceed the limit recommended by the manufacturer. This helps prevent overcrowding and reduces the risk of injury.

Monitor Behaviour and Enforce Rules

The supervising adult should monitor the behaviour of children and enforce the safety rules of the slide. This includes preventing horseplay, ensuring proper sliding techniques, and managing the flow of children on and off the slide.

Follow Weight and Age Restrictions

Most inflatable slides come with weight and age restrictions to ensure the safety of the users. Make sure you follow these restrictions and don’t allow too many kids on the slide at once. Overloading the slide can cause it to become unstable and increase the risk of accidents. If you’re unsure of the weight limit for the slide, check with the supplier or manufacturer.

Understand Manufacturer Specifications

Carefully read and understand the manufacturer’s specifications for weight and age limits. These guidelines are created based on the design and material strength of the inflatable slide.

Divide Playtime by Age Groups

If you have a mixed-age group of children, consider dividing playtime into age-specific sessions. This allows for safer play as children of similar sizes and developmental stages are using the slide together.

Communicate Restrictions to Parents and Kids

Clearly communicate any restrictions to both parents and children before allowing them to use the slide. This can be done through signage, verbal instructions, or handouts.

Remove Shoes, Jewellery, and Sharp Objects

Before allowing kids to use the inflatable slide, make sure they remove their shoes, jewellery, and any sharp objects they may have with them. These items can not only damage the slide but also cause injuries to the users. It’s also a good idea to have kids empty their pockets before going down the slide to prevent any items from falling out and getting lost.

Provide a Safe Storage Area

Set up a designated area where children can store their shoes and other personal items safely while they use the slide. This helps to avoid losing items and keeps the area around the slide clear.

Inspect Children Before They Climb

Before children climb up the slide, do a quick visual inspection to ensure they have removed all potentially harmful items. This includes checking for items like glasses or hairpins that can come loose during sliding.

Educate Children on the Importance of Removing Objects

Explain to the children why it’s important to remove these items, emphasising their own safety and the protection of the slide. Children are more likely to comply when they understand the reasons behind the rules.

Follow Proper Sliding Techniques

It’s important to teach kids how to slide down the inflatable slide properly. They should sit down with their feet first and hold on to the sides of the slide. Sliding headfirst or standing on the slide can increase the risk of injuries. It’s also important to teach kids not to push or shove others while on the slide. If they want to slide down together, make sure they do so one at a time or in a controlled manner.

Demonstrate Correct Sliding Posture

Have an adult demonstrate the correct posture for sliding down, emphasising the importance of sitting up and sliding feet-first for safety.

Discourage Risky Behaviours

Clearly explain and discourage any risky behaviours such as trying to climb up the slide surface, jumping from the sides, or attempting flips or stunts on the slide.

Reinforce One-At-A-Time Sliding

Continuously reinforce the rule that only one child should slide down at a time. This helps prevent collisions at the bottom of the slide and maintains a safe flow of play.

Check the Weather Forecast

Before setting up the inflatable slide, make sure to check the weather forecast. Strong winds, rain, and thunderstorms can make the slide unstable and increase the risk of accidents. If the weather forecast predicts unfavourable conditions, it’s best to postpone using the inflatable slide until the weather improves.

Be Prepared for Sudden Weather Changes

Even with a clear forecast, weather can change unexpectedly. Have a plan in place for quickly deflating and securing the slide if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Avoid Usage During Extreme Temperatures

Inflatable slides should not be used during extremely hot or cold temperatures. Extreme heat can make the surface too hot to touch, while cold can make the material brittle and uncomfortable for play.

Monitor for Signs of Overheating

Keep an eye on the slide and the children during hot weather. Look for signs of overheating, such as redness in the face or complaints of feeling too warm, and take breaks as necessary.

Keep an Eye on the Temperature

Inflatable slides are best used in warm weather, but it’s important to keep an eye on the temperature. If it’s too hot, the slide can become too hot to touch and cause burns. It’s also a good idea to have plenty of water available to keep kids hydrated while playing on the slide.

Provide Shade if Possible

If the slide is set up in an area with direct sunlight, consider providing shade with a canopy or tent. This can help keep the slide’s surface cooler and provide a comfortable area for children to take breaks.

Use Water Features Wisely

Some inflatable slides come with water features for added fun. Use these features to help keep the slide and children cool, but ensure that the water does not create slippery conditions around the slide.

Schedule Breaks for Cooling Down

Plan for regular breaks to allow children to cool down, especially during hot days. Encourage them to drink water and rest in the shade to prevent heat exhaustion.

Making Fun and Safety Go Hand-in-Hand

Inflatable slides can provide endless entertainment for kids, but it’s important to remember that they also come with potential hazards. By following these safety tips, you can ensure that your kids have a fun and safe experience on the inflatable slide. Remember to choose a reputable supplier when you are looking for inflatable water slides for sale, set up the slide in a safe area, secure it properly, and have an adult supervise at all times. Teach kids proper sliding techniques and follow weight and age restrictions to prevent accidents. With these safety tips in mind, you can relax and enjoy watching your kids have a blast on the inflatable slide.

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