What should the weight limit of your bounce house or inflatable slide be?
As inflatable slides and bounce houses are by definition pop-able, ensuring that you match the correct recommended weight to the expected usage will go a long way towards making sure that you're able to use the bounce house or inflatable slide for years to come!
The general distinctions for weight limitations appear to be <50 lbs, 50-100 lbs, 100-300 lbs, 300-500 lbs, and 500+. The price will go up corresponding to the bounce house or inflatable slide's durability; but it may be worth it so your bounce house or inflatable slide can be fun for years as your children grow. Always check the weight limitation on the specific product you plan to buy!
What are the age recommendations for bounce houses and inflatable slides?
We know, we know---we said 'kids of all ages', and that was mostly correct. For the safety of everyone who enjoys these toys, you'll want to keep extremely young infants off of the bounce houses and inflatable slides; and keeping kids of similar ages and sizes on the bounce houses and inflatable slides at the same time is a good idea. In other words, while these are certainly great tools for family fun, perhaps it's best that the whole family doesn't enjoy them at the same time!
How to make sure that the bounce house or inflatable slide is safe?
For a toy that is meant to present maximum family fun, an inflatable slide or a bounce house can also be a liability if not selected with utmost care. Here are a few good things to keep in mind as you're browsing the options:
Make sure that it's well-made. You'll want to see a canvas or heavy vinyl body with metal, not plastic, anchors and hardware. The anchors should be evenly spaced to distribute the weight across the bounce house or inflatable slide, and there should be one anchor every five feet (or fewer!). The inflating machine should also be included and sold separately, just in case you need to troubleshoot or replace.
Make sure it's ASTM-approved.
Set it up properly. Make sure that you're using 30" or 40" metal stakes to anchor the bounce house or inflatable slide to the ground, and stabilize it with bags of wet sand. Ensure that you're following the included instructions on how to install the bounce house or inflatable slide to the letter! Every time you put it up and take it down, inspect it for holes or weak spots. Finally, if wind conditions are at or above 25 mph, it is likely a good idea to reschedule and use the toys another day.
Have specific rules for its use. Children should not wear anything sharp when they're playing in the bounce house or inflatable slide, and it's a good idea to have a maximum number of children allowed in (calculated to be slightly under the recommended weight limit for your specific product). Children need to take off their shoes, take nothing in with them, and know that if the monitoring adult says it's time to leave---it's time to leave.
Monitor usage every time. Before kids begin to play with the bounce house or inflatable slide, ask them if they need any food or need to use the restroom. Kids should never be playing on these toys unless at least one adult is present and committed to watching the children for ultimate safety.
Bounce houses and inflatable slides can make for hours of good family fun, but you need to pick the right one in order to ensure that everyone is safe.
- Choose a well-made model with good reviews, metal anchors, and strong materials.
- Think of what your children like when you're browsing through themes---but also select something that will grow with them. Leaning towards a general, rather than a specific, theme is likely a good idea!
- Know what the weight limits are on your bounce house or inflatable slide, and stick to them.