There's one lucky youngster in Adelanto. Earlier this month, the 9-year-old boy was in his front yard jumping around in an inflatable "bounce house." A gust of wind whipped through his neighborhood and carried the bounce house aloft.
It quickly flew out of the yard with the boy still inside the enclosure. It rolled with the wind onto Hwy. 395 right into a car's path. The impact tossed the boy out of the inflatable and into the other lane.
His story could have ended right there on the highway. Fortuitously, the traffic on the road was able to stop in time to avoid running over him. His only injuries from his ordeal were scratches and scrapes.
A sergeant with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department (SBCSD) remarked, "The kid got lucky." In nearly 20 years of law enforcement, the sergeant noted that he had never known a bounce house to fly so far from its moorings.
According to the officer, the high-desert winds had been sweeping through the area all weekend and likely were the genesis of the boy's "freak accident."
The family rented the inflatable for a family get-together of approximately 30 guests. While it wasn't mentioned how, the bounce house was anchored at the time it took to the air.
The officer recommends that those renting these types of amusements do more than just stake them to the ground. He suggests using five-gallon jugs of water or buckets of concrete to further anchor them, adding, "Once those stakes rip out of the ground, that stuff starts moving."
After the accident, the highway shut down for a couple of hours, causing traffic jams in the area.
This is but the latest episode in a string of bounce-house disasters. Four years ago in New York, two boys suffered serious injuries after falling out of an inflatable that was blown 50 feet in the air by a strong gust of wind. Another youngster who fell from a lesser distance suffered slight injuries in the same incident.
Two kids in Colorado also got hurt a month later in a similar incident.
Were your children hurt in a bounce-house accident? You may need to be their advocate in legal proceedings stemming from the incident.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Bounce house flies onto highway and boy emerges from inside with just scrapes: 'The kid got lucky'," Alene Tchekmedyian, May 13, 2018