Investigation reveals more than 20 have been injured using inflatable play equipment
PUBLISHED: 14:26 07 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:52 07 October 2018
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More than 20 people across the UK have been injured while using inflatable play equipment, it has been revealed.
An investigation by BBC Inside Out East shows 22 people have been hurt due to inflatable castles hurling them into the air.
It comes following the death of two children in the region, seven-year-old Summer Grant, from Norwich, and three-year-old Ava-May Littleboy from Somersham near Ipswich.
In May, two fairground workers were found guilty of the manslaughter of Summer Grant after a bouncy castle she was using blew away with her inside it. The little girl, from Norwich, died in hospital after she was rescued from the inflatable at an Easter fair in Harlow on March 26, 2016.
Just two weeks after the verdict Ava-May Littleboy died after being thrown from an inflatable trampoline on Gorleston beach in Norfolk.
The tragedies have raised questions about the safety of inflatables, especially in high winds. There are rules in place to limit the dangers through the PIPA inspection scheme, backed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which include making sure equipment is secured by at least six pegs.
The BBC programme covers the case of Summer Wronieki, one of the 22 people injured using play equipment.
The youngster was catapulted into the air after getting on a bouncy castle with a friend, receiving head injuries and a broken femur.
The HSE advises a bouncy castle should not be inflated if the wind is in excess of 24mph.
It was concluded that on the day of Summer Wronieki’s accident, the inflatable was blown across the park because the winds were in excess of the maximum – with gusts recorded on the day of 47mph with just five pegs anchoring the castle to the ground.
The day Summer Grant died in Harlow, the wind had reached speeds of 36mph and equipment was not properly secured.
An HSE spokesman told the BBC programme: “We use a variety of methods to identify where risk exists that is so we can respond to concerns raised by members of the public or others and that the guidance in relation to the law itself is kept under continual review.”
Inside Out airs on BBC1 East at 7.30pm on Monday, October 8.