My son was trapped in a deflated bouncy castle. AIBU to complain?

(146 Posts)
knackeredmother Sat 19-Jan-13 17:27:24

I was at a party today with my 2 dc in a leisure centre, bouncy castle in a small enclosed room with door locked so no one could 'escape'. Suddenly realised I'd lost sight of my 3 year old son and then saw the staff were deflating the bouncy castle. I asked if they were sure there was no one left in it and they assured me they'd checked and carried on deflating. I began to panic, I couldn't see my son anywhere, they carried on deflating. Another mum heard a 'gasping noise' and managed to somehow dive in through the back of the now deflated castle and pull out my son. He was struggling to breathe, I think more through fright and after hysterics was ultimately ok.
The staff weren't interested, didn't apologise or ask if he was ok.
I then asked to see the manager at the front desk, she wasn't available and the lady was completely uninterested and said 'well he's ok isn't he?'.
This was quite a big castle, I think an adult would struggle to fight their way out if inside, I shudder to think what would have happened if the other mum hadn't heard him and pulled him out.
Now I realise I should have been watching him but it really only seemed like a few moments that I lost sight of him and I probably wasn't as vigilant as usual knowing the door to the room was locked. So should I complain about this or accept it was my responsibility to have not lost sight of him? Or is it really a non event? My dh thinks so but it really scared me and him.

OpheliaBumps Thu 24-Jan-13 22:17:17

Oh that's great news, it's so reassuring that it's being taken seriously.

HollaAtMeBaby Thu 24-Jan-13 21:58:13

Well done! Also thanks for coming back to update smile

notjustamummythankyou Thu 24-Jan-13 21:41:54

Well done! That is good news.

bowerbird Thu 24-Jan-13 21:23:08

Well done OP.

PurpleStorm Thu 24-Jan-13 21:16:05

Yes, it had to be done.

I'm sure the staff aren't happy to have had a bollocking, but they'd be feeling an awful lot worse if they did this again and actually injured a child (or worse).

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Thu 24-Jan-13 20:37:05

I'm pleased to hear it is being taken seriously. I am sure you do feel sorry for the staff but this was really serious. They themselves should have completed an incident form for something of this type. Better a bollocking and some training than a real tragedy on anyone's conscience.

Goodadvice1980 Thu 24-Jan-13 20:32:07

That's a fantastic piece of reassurance OP! You were 100% right to complain.

Really pleased for you. The attitude of the staff was appalling.

knackeredmother Thu 24-Jan-13 20:26:47

Well I've had an email today from the chief exec, he's spoken to all the staff involved. He's apologised for their flippant attitude, is changing staff training and also their policies. He's kindly offered us a free party at any of their centres.
It sounds as if there has been some serious bollocking going on and I'm really impressed with his response.
The health and safety team of the local council are also investigating but I do feel reassured by the response of their senior bods.
Thanks for all the advice on here, I'm feeling a bit sorry for the sports centre staff now though but I do think it had to be done after being repeatedly told I was not bu on here!
Thanks again ladies.

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Thu 24-Jan-13 19:40:27

What was the response after 48 hours? I'd like to hear a good result tbh, I can't see how any responsible business can let this go by.

2rebecca Thu 24-Jan-13 10:07:44

I think you were right to complain. With 3 year olds it is the centre's responsiblity to ensure no children are on or near the bouncy castle when it is deflated and they should have ensured children couldn't hide in it or sneak back on. If it was just up for a party the sensible thing would have been to leave it up until the party was over and all the children have left the room, I've never been at a bouncy castle party where it has been deflated whilst kids were still running about.

fromparistoberlin Thu 24-Jan-13 09:06:12

complian to manager and mention/cc the Health and safety Executive

go on their website and look up some long-numbered laws and regulations

whats done is done but you need to scare the shit our of them on this

terrible!

thatisall Thu 24-Jan-13 04:48:10

Yadnbu omg bless him!

DozyDuck Thu 24-Jan-13 04:36:07

Have you heard back?

Yfronts Mon 21-Jan-13 19:49:06

great to hear you have had a response.

Yfronts Mon 21-Jan-13 19:48:29

They obviously should have two people to deflate the castle if there are young children in the room. Their sloppy behavior could have cost your son his life.

Put the complaint in writing so that it can be addressed properly/officially. Also send a copy to head office/county council management.

orangepudding Mon 21-Jan-13 19:22:12

That's awful.

If your son was hiding it's irrelevent, it's the staff responsibilty to ensure it's totally clear.

bowerbird Mon 21-Jan-13 19:11:53

OP I'm very glad you decided to complain, and also glad that the chief exec has responded with the seriousness that this case merits.

Keep us posted.

notjustamummythankyou Mon 21-Jan-13 17:54:22

That is good news. It seems like they are taking your complaint very seriously, which of course they should! Look forward to seeing a further update. smile

knackeredmother Mon 21-Jan-13 14:16:02

Next update:
I emailed the manager and copied the chief exec , director of operations and the health and safety team of the local council.
The director of operations replied immeadiately saying he would investigate and get back to me personally within 48 hours and also gave me his mobile number.

I am very happy with that response, someone senior is taking things seriously and has responded appropriately. Thankyou to the poster who gave me that e mail. Hopefully things will change there to avoid a future disaster.

financialwizard Sun 20-Jan-13 19:21:52

God OP your post made my blood run cold. Definitely agree with everyone else in saying that you should complain to the highest level.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 20-Jan-13 18:44:35

Sorry, fire exits.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 20-Jan-13 18:43:54

Hello Op.

I am a leisure Management graduate with knowledge of the law regarding H&S.
Not only should you complain but you need to inform the authorities. Firstly without seeing the room, I'm pretty sure the door should not have been locked. Did anybody give you advice on fire exists etc. Also was it a private booking or provision purely by the facility. Even though the law differs between the two, being as the staff deflated the castle they are responsible.
I would be asking many questions and expecting lots of answers.
This is completely unacceptable.
Please don't let this go, next time it could be much worse. Many centres refuse to use them now due to similar situations, i.e outdoor use and high winds. Kids falling off and injuries etc.

PessaryPam Sun 20-Jan-13 18:37:19

Yes report the whole thing to the council, this is what they are there for.

StillSmilingAfterAllTheseYears Sun 20-Jan-13 18:32:41

I think you should take it further and agree copy to HSE/local council to make them take it seriously.

Doesn't matter if he was hiding or snuck back on does it, he was at risk and that is something to avoid in future.

13Iggis Sun 20-Jan-13 18:26:06

Can't believe they are trying to blame a 3 year old for "sneaking on". They obviously hadn't waited till every child was claimed by a parent, had they?
I can't see why they needed to deflate it when the kids were in the room. Sounds like they were trying to save themselves some time.

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