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Bounce house expert: stakes too small

Updated: 05/15/2014 11:33 AM
Created: 05/14/2014 12:11 PM WNYT.com
By: Mark Mulholland

SOUTH GLENS FALLS - The stakes that the employees of Bounce Around drive into the ground to keep their bounce houses grounded are 42 inches of steel.

In business for 15 years, the Queensbury-based company has never had an issue with the wind taking one of their inflatables for a ride.

"Never, never. Never had an incident with an inflatable," said Tom Barber, owner of the company.

Like most people, Barber was saddened when two South Glens Falls boys suffered serious injures when the small inflatable they were playing in became airborne and dropped the children from a height of 15 to 20 feet.

"This, you can see, is very, very light. I'm holding it up with one finger," Barber said as held up the kind of inflatable involved in the incident on Ferry Boulevard Monday afternoon.

To demonstrate the difference between the professional grade inflatables he sells and rents, and the kind that was swept up in the wind, Barber bought one.

"That's paper thin. And it's unsafe," he said, referring to the toy that he picked up at a local store.

Barber says the biggest problem with the inflatables that you can buy at the toy store for around $300, is the small plastic stakes that come with them.

Barber recommends that parents purchase four corkscrew stakes that are used to secure large dogs. He says they cost about $3.50 apiece at a hardware store.

"This, will not pull out," he said as he twisted one into the ground Wednesday.

Barber says the incident in South Glens Falls was not the fault of the person who owns the bounce house. "The homeowner, in my opinion, did nothing wrong. But in my opinion, if they had bigger stakes, that wouldn't have occurred."

The two boys who were injured Monday when the bounce house they were in went airborne, are said to be in stable condition.

South Glens Falls Police told NewsChannel 13’s media partners at The Post-Star, that a boy who landed on a parked car before falling to the pavement suffered a serious head injury and remains in a medically induced coma.

The boy who landed on Ferry Boulevard had broken arms, a broken jaw, broken facial bone and a possible ruptured spleen.

The boys' ages are 5 and 6. Their names are not being released.

A 10-year-old girl, who was also playing, fell out from a lower height. She suffered minor injuries.

Police are calling the incident a tragic accident and no charges will be filed.

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