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

(147 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.

Margocat Sat 19-Jan-13 17:28:59

YANBU at all!!

VivaLeBeaver Sat 19-Jan-13 17:29:36

I'd complain. The manager needs to know so staff can have some retraining and a better procedure put in place. I know it's not rocket science to check the bouncy castle is empty but they obviously need a reminder.

Sirzy Sat 19-Jan-13 17:30:03

Of course you should complain.

LindyHemming Sat 19-Jan-13 17:31:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MarshaBrady Sat 19-Jan-13 17:31:40

God how scary. Your poor things.

Not a non event at all. Yes to a complaint.

MsVestibule Sat 19-Jan-13 17:32:39

Or is it really a non event? Er no, this is actually a big event! Complain, complain, complain, and I would be taking it up with their Health and Safety officer, then the council's H&S officer if necessary. I'm baffled that nobody else apart from you seems to think that this is a serious problem.

NorthernLurker Sat 19-Jan-13 17:32:47

They can be really heavy when deflated. I would complain. How hard is it to see a three year old on a bouncy castle? Not very........

Aspiemum2 Sat 19-Jan-13 17:33:21

Wow that wasn't what I expected when I clicked on this. I can't believe their reaction. This very nearly had a totally different ending and I absolutely think you should complain, at the very least to ensure it doesn't happen again. Must have been so scary for him

MonaLotte Sat 19-Jan-13 17:33:42

You should have been keeping a closer eye. But they should have checked the castle was empty.
At the end of the day you were both in the wrong. I would still make them aware to make sure the equipment is clear before they deflate it. Plus their reaction was pretty bad at the time too.

Nanny0gg Sat 19-Jan-13 17:33:56

It sounds like a serious H&S issue. I'd be having a chat with the council who has presumably licensed them as well as the manager.

Rainbowinthesky Sat 19-Jan-13 17:33:57

I would complain in writing as high up as you can and would write to local paper if they didn't assure you training would be put in place.

HDee Sat 19-Jan-13 17:36:20

MonaLotte, keep a closer eye in a room with a locked door? Short of never taking her eyes off her child, I don't see what else the OP could have done to prevent this.

bowerbird Sat 19-Jan-13 17:36:38

It is NOT a non-event. This is a very very serious dereliction of care and breaches every decent H&S rule in the book (you know, the ones that actually make sense?). Definitely contact the manager and if he/she doesn't take it seriously then go above their head. Is it a council leisure centre or private? Either way, there are strict guidelines that should be followed.

Can you imagine if that other mum hadn't heard the noise and acted as she did?

If anything, YABU to even ask this. Your son nearly suffocated and the staff weren't bothered.

OddBoots Sat 19-Jan-13 17:39:57

Absolutely complain. We use a bouncy castle at work and the policy is not to deflate it until all children have left the room/cordoned area, never mind just the castle.

BanghamTheDirtyScone Sat 19-Jan-13 17:40:06

Terrible, really awful - the next child they don#t notice might not be so lucky.

I am really sorry this happened. Please please complain, on behalf of every parent who will let their children use this thing in future.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Sat 19-Jan-13 17:40:11

That is very serious!

It's nonsense IMO to say you should have been keeping a closer eye on him! In a locked room with play equipment, a 3 year old may be darting from one thing to can't keep your eyes n them every minute.

The staff are at fault and it needs to be taken seriously. If they don't review their procedures, next time could be even worse!

BanghamTheDirtyScone Sat 19-Jan-13 17:41:01

Yes quite, any ofthe children could have run onto/into it while itwas being deflated.

Totally negligent of them. Totally.

Rosa Sat 19-Jan-13 17:41:19

Even the small ones are heavy ..I have hired some and they take more than one perosn to pull. The canvas obiously does not breathe your son was being folded up in a giant plastic bag. I would complain but time not just to the company but to whoever possible -imagine if they do it again.....

catgirl1976 Sat 19-Jan-13 17:41:39


He's 3 poor little mite

That was dangerous sad

Cherriesarelovely Sat 19-Jan-13 17:43:21

You must complain, that is really terrible. What a scarey experience for you both.

flossy101 Sat 19-Jan-13 17:43:43

I can't believe they started deflating without checking all the children were off. Definitely raise with the manager.

HollyBerryBush Sat 19-Jan-13 17:47:05

Holy shit - and I never do the 'could have' scenarios - but he could have axphixiated

Sarahplane Sat 19-Jan-13 17:50:16

Please please complain. That's really dangerous. your poor son. They should have checked no lids were around before they started deflating it, and especially when you told them your son was missing. If they weren't even bothered by nearly suffocating a child then it doesn't sound like they've learnt from this so could very likely happen again.

Sarahplane Sat 19-Jan-13 17:50:56


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