We want our kids to have fun, and, as parents, we want to enjoy ourselves too. But you need to be wary of potential dangers at a children’s birthday party. Ending the day in the emergency department of a Florida hospital isn’t anyone’s idea of a good time.
If injuries to you or your child are the result of a party’s negligence, you may have a right to compensation. Problems arise when activities are just too dangerous under any circumstances, there isn’t enough supervision, or precautions aren’t taken to reduce the chances of injuries or their severity.
A ball pit consists of a large frame on a floor filled with balls, which could be a variety of sizes and materials. Instead of slogging through water or jumping into it, the idea is to have the same kind of fun without getting wet. There are several potential issues with ball pits.
Like a public swimming pool, ball pits can spread a variety of germs and bacteria. If kids in the pit didn’t wash their hands after using the bathroom, you can add urine and feces into the mix. Kids may sneeze or cough onto the balls too. It won’t take long until the ball pit becomes a very large petri dish. After your child uses a ball pit, they need to wash their hands. You may want to change their clothes and have them shower as well.
Fun in the ball pit at a birthday party can also include kids bumping into each other, knocking each other over, and potentially stepping or falling onto each other. These kinds of impacts, if they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, could break bones or cause other severe injuries.
The pit must also be deep enough to cushion whatever’s going on in it. An example is a variation on the ball pit, a foam pit, that was intended for adult use at a convention in San Diego in 2022. Part of the fun was that you could “battle” another person on a platform over a foam pit, according to NBC News, with the “loser” falling into it.
The platform was about two feet off a concrete floor, and there was about a foot of foam pieces above the cement. One participant jumped off a platform and landed on her back. She broke her spine in two places because there weren’t enough foam pieces to effectively cushion her fall.
These come in all shapes and sizes. Using one can make you feel like you’re flying. The problem is that sensation is temporary, and gravity literally pulls you back down to earth. Instead of landing on the fabric, your child could land on the frame, the ground, or a person using the trampoline with them or standing next to it.
More than 800,000 kids suffered trampoline-related injuries in the US from 2009 to 2018, according to the Mayo Clinic. Most were younger than 16, and most of the injuries happened at their own homes. Injuries ranged from minor lacerations to spine fractures, and traumatic brain injuries. More than a third (34%) were long bone fractures in the arms and legs.
If you go to an indoor trampoline park for a birthday party, you’ll have to sign a comprehensive waiver of your legal rights. If you do, as a practical matter, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to sue them if they negligently cause an injury.
Jumping Castles/Bounce Houses
Jumping castles and bounce houses are popular choices when it comes to hosting a birthday party but they present similar problems as trampolines. Kids jump up and down on an inflated platform, which should be at least partially surrounded by walls. They can knock into or land on each other, resulting in injuries. They might also bounce their way out of the castle and onto the ground. An added threat is a sudden storm with gusty winds. If the bounce house isn’t properly secured, a strong wind can literally blow it away with your child in it.
Contact Our Miami Injury Team
If you or your child is injured at a birthday party at another’s property, contact Jeffrey R. Davis, P.A. so you can learn about your legal rights and how you might receive compensation for your injuries. Obtain your free case review by calling (305) 577-3777 to speak with an attorney. Our attorneys will talk with you in English or Spanish/Se Habla Español.