One of the great innovations over the years of bounce houses and inflatable devices is the creation of the inflatable slide. These slides can be found inside or attached to bounce houses in the form of inflatable combo bouncers, or as their own stand-alone inflatable device. The majority of all inflatable slides can be attached to a garden hose and converted into a water slide. These slides are the perfect source of summer thrills and recreation, and holds massive appeal across the country by children and adults alike. However, like all inflatable devices, there is the opportunity for accidental injury to the users of inflatable slides through neglect or pure accident. Thankfully, all possible injuries and accidents are easily preventable as long as users can maintain some responsibility and knowledge of the rules while slipping and sliding.
A very important rule when using an inflatable slide is to only allow one user to slide down the slope at one time. Picture a kid climbing to the top of the water slide, coasting down, and landing in the shallow pool of water at the bottom. While that kid may be taking a minute to relax in the pool of water, an eager new user runs up and slides down without looking. Also consider if a child were to become stuck while sliding down, and a new user was to launch themselves before the first one had time to clear out. The two users may end up accidentally colliding, an unfortunate occurrence that can absolutely be avoided. For the sake of safety, allow only one person to be sliding down the slide at any given time. Wait for the user to completely clear the slide area before allowing the next to climb and slide down. In addition, only allow one person to climb to the top at any one time. (However, if your inflatable slide has multiple lanes for racing or simultaneous use, you are free to allow two people sliding at a time in their own lane.) Have the rest of the waiting slide users form a line off the side, rather than hang out impatiently on the steps. A parent or adult on the scene can be responsible for enforcing the “no piling on” rule while supervising the day’s events.
Never attempt to climb up the slide from anywhere other than the designated climbing structure, usually a set of inflatable stairs or ladder steps built into the back of (or next to) the slide. Every inflatable slide’s slope is designed for sliding down, not for climbing. Even if a user was to make their way to the top of the slope from the shallow pool at the bottom without slipping backwards, all it does is potentially weaken the fabric of the slope for no reason other than to show off to friends. Attempting to pull oneself up to the top of the slide off the sides of the structure is also highly discouraged, as the dangerous amount of weight pulling down on the device from the side can cause the device to topple and collapse on its side. Foolish displays of risk like these have no place around an inflatable slide. If you are climbing up your water slide, make sure that you do it from the intended steps, one at a time. That’s what they’re designed for, after all.
Just like any other inflatable device you could possibly own, if there is a rip or tear in the fabric, or if there is a leak, users should follow standard evacuation procedure to allow the knowledgeable to repair the damage. Luckily for users of the slide, there is generally no risk of being trapped or stuck inside of the fabric if the device were to deflate, as there is no ceiling or roof present over the majority of the slide. Have the current slide rider calmly make their way down to the bottom and off the inflatable. Once that is done, turn off the water, unplug the hose, and identify where the tear was made so that it can be properly repaired. Any other questions or concerns you may have regarding your inflatable slide will likely be answered in the instructional manual or an e-mail to the manufacturers. As long as you observe common sense and safety while around your inflatable device, these potential problems will never strike your slide for the duration of the summer.