Bouncy castle safety

28 September 2018

Bouncy castles are a great way to fundraise as part of an event. However, if they are not properly managed they can cause accidents resulting in injuries to children.

Children playing on a bouncy castle
Most of the injuries are caused by children bouncing off the inflatable on to the ground, being hit by other children or just falling awkwardly. Many of these accidents could be avoided by effective adult supervision.
Follow our advice if you are thinking of hiring inflatable bouncy castles as part of one of your events.

Before hiring

Your policy does not automatically cover bouncy castles or inflatables so you need to contact us and advice us about it. We will charge an additional premium for bouncy castles and inflatables
Make sure the equipment is hired from a reputable hire company, and wherever possible, is set up, operated and supervised by the hire company's own staff. This is particularly important if substantial numbers of children are likely to be present.
Before hiring a bouncy castle, ask the hire company to confirm that it;
  • Fully complies with the safe use and operation of play inflatables, including bouncy castles guidance issued by the UK PIPA Inflatable Play Inspector Scheme. This guidance can be downloaded from
  • Employees are suitably experienced and well trained adult personnel, where the company is responsible for the setting up, operation and supervision of the bouncy castle
  • Provides evidence of a current Public Liability insurance policy with a limit of indemnity of at least €6.5 million. This insurance is to cover the liability of the hire company. It is unlikely to extend to cover the hirer of the equipment.

Self operation

If you are to operate the bouncy castle, ensure that you are provided with written instructions about the safe setting up, operation and supervision of the equipment, and that the name and address of the manufacturer or supplier is clearly marked upon it.

Safety instructions

The safety instructions should include the following points:
  • Children should not be allowed to use the bouncy castle if there is a high wind or in wet weather (inflatables can flip over, and slippery surfaces may cause injury)
  • The castle must be adequately secured to the ground and sited away from obstacles such as fences or overhead power lines
  • Soft matting covering hard surfaces must be placed adjacent to the front or open sides 
  • Ensure that the blower is situated at least 1-2 metres from the inflatable - serious injuries may occur if a user strikes the blower unit
  • There should be responsible adult supervision, paying close attention to the children at play at all times during its use
  • The number of children using the bouncy castle must be limited to the number recommended in the hire company's safety instructions. There must be no overcrowding
  • A rota system for different age or size groups should be operated, together with the observance of an age limit of users
  • All children must be made to remove footwear, hard or sharp objects such as jewellery, buckles, pens and other similar pocket contents. Eating while bouncing or performing acrobatics must not be allowed
  • Adults must never be allowed to use the bouncy castle at the same time as children
  • Adults under the influence of drugs or alcohol must never be allowed to use bouncy castles.