LUBBOCK, TX -- After photos went viral of an inflatable bounce house in upstate New York blowing away, injuring two young children inside, experts here on the South Plains are reminding parents that these party novelties aren't always cut out for gusty, West Texas winds.
Donna Nelson, co-owner of Spoil Me Rotten party rentals here in Lubbock says most of that accident can be chalked up to the quality of that particular inflatable.
"It's a 10 x 10 bouncer, and it's only made of polyester," she explains "So it's not commercial grade. Then, the other problem is that the stakes designed for those inflatables are only about 6 inch plastic spike."
Nelson recommends only using inflatables with commercial-grade anchoring, unlike the at-home unit that flew away in New York on Monday.
Back in 2011, the City Council wanted to ban staking bounce houses in any city park, due to environmental concerns. But companies like Nelson's fought back.
"We said we wanted to be able to stake in the parks," she says. "It's too dangerous, especially in West Texas because the winds are so great."
But even an 18 inch stake can only do so much. So when that wind blows, Nelson says it's time to bring the bounce house down. Spoil Me Rotten refuses to inflate and operate bouncers in any winds higher than 25 miles per hour.