Water Inflatables: Be Safe and Have Fun

Introducing water inflatables, slides, or trampolines to a pool or lake can add a new dimension of fun to your group’s lineup of water activities. While these attractions can ramp up the excitement associated with a swimming trip on a hot day, they also introduce some unique risk management concerns. These guidelines can help to keep your group’s water experience safe and enjoyable:

  • If you are setting up your own equipment, check to ensure that all your equipment is properly anchored and inflated. Also, make sure to place equipment at an adequate depth, as well as an adequate space away from buoys, the shore, and other equipment.
  • One of the best ways to promote safety is by listing safety rules and setting expectations before your group enters the water.
  • Specify the maximum number of people who may use each piece of water equipment at one time, and where group members should wait in line for each attraction.
  • Strictly define and enforce swimming and activity area boundaries. Make sure swimmers stay clear of your inflatable play zones at all times.
  • Some types of water equipment serve as a jumping or launching platform. Requiring your participants to enter the water feet-first is usually a good idea. Depending on the function of your specific water feature, as well as the proximity of objects and surfaces that could cause harm, if someone were to fall on them, provide instructions about the best techniques and rules for bracing, leaping, launching, and falling safely.
  • Closely monitor those in your group who are not strong swimmers or who are likely to test safety rules. Restrict their activity to keep them safe, if necessary.
  • See our post on swimming safety for a related list of water safety guidelines.

The goal, of course, is to allow as much fun as possible without threatening safety. By following these guidelines, you improve the chances that when members of your group recall your day of swimming activities, they will have only good memories to look back on.