This weekend’s news that three children have had to be taken to hospital after a bouncy castle broke free of it’s moorings in Whitby has started me thinking about how safe it is to let our kids go on these types of rides. It’s not the first time that something like this has happened recently and although I don’t think that the children involved have not been seriously injured, it’s quite scary to think about what could have been.
Like most parents, when we go out for the day we often let our two go on bouncy castles and rides. Although we try to make sure that the ride itself looks safe before letting them on it, in reality we aren’t qualified to make that judgement as we don’t know what we’re looking for. Something that looks safe to you and I may be a Casualty episode waiting to happen!
You might think I’m over reacting a bit, which I may well be but having had a bad experience ourselves recently, it’s made me re- think how happy I am about letting my children on rides.
A few weeks ago we visited a local farm and while we were there Master Frugal asked if he could go on the quad bikes. It was quite a small course and while we were in the queue we watched the children in front of us be given a five minute instruction session and then saw them all kitted up with their helmets. The man in charge of the quads was very attentive while they were riding round the course so by the time it got to our turn I was more than happy for both of them to go on.
They had great fun zooming round the course and the few times that the kids crashed into the barriers or looked like they were having difficulties, the man running the ride was right in there to sort it out. The problem came at the end, when they’re all called in one at a time. The child behind Master Frugal failed to stop and the man’s reactions weren’t quick enough to stop her from crashing into Master Frugal who had been told to stay on his bike until everyone had been called in.
I caught the incident on video and I feel sick every time I watch it (it’s in the last ten seconds if you want to forward through):
Luckily he was fine although it did cut our day short as he was really weepy and clingy on and off after it had happened. We took him to the Dr who just said to keep an eye on him but other than an achey neck for a few days he recovered quite quickly thank goodness. I can’t help thinking that it could have been so much worse though….
I don’t want to be one of those mothers that wrap their kids in cotton wool but I’m struggling at the minute and with Summer coming up I know we’ll be going on more days out and we’ll come across numerous rides that the kids will be desperate to go on. There’s only so many times I can say that I don’t have any pennies with me or bribe them with an ice cream 😉
So, how do you decide when a ride is safe to let your children go on. I used my judgement that the quad bikes were safe and I’m pretty sure that the parents this weekend used their judgement that the bouncy castle was safe but we were wrong, weren’t we?