Tucson's bounce castle incidents raise regulation questionsPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Three bounce castle accidents so far in 2011 are causing concern around Tucson. But is it just coincidence or is the industry in need of safety regulations?
A startling video shot by a mother attending a celebration at a Tucson park shows a dust devil ripping a bounce castle off the ground and tossing it around violently until the castle becomes entangled on a nearby light pole.
"It's disconcerting because it's my business," said David Schwartz.
David Schwartz owns Bounce House Connection. He has seen that infamous video. So far, he says it hasn't hurt business, but parent's are asking more questions.
"They're asking me how I keep them safe," said Schwartz.
Tuesday, Schwartz wrapped up another event, without incident.
"It's weird that three toys have done it, but I think that's coincidence. I hope it's coincidence," said Schwartz.
He says if businesses self impose safety restrictions, bounce castles are safe.
"If an operator is willing to stay on site, 9 out of 10... I'd say there's a real high probablity they're going to be very safe," said Schwartz.
But if they don't, incidents like the one shown in the video can happen.
The recent spree of incidents is starting to make state lawmakers uncomfortable.
State Senators Paula Aboud and Linda Gray are teaming up to see what, if anything, can be done.
"We need to step up to the plate Arizona, and see what we need to do to protect our children," said State Senator Aboud.
Right now, in Arizona, it's up to businesses to self regulate. But there's no pressure on them to do it.
"By not having regulation we don't have all businesses playing by the same rules," said State Aboud.
City leaders too say they may consider getting involved, but it's important to be effective.
"Let's make a measured decision and not just shoot from the hip and say, 'Gee, we need to do something,' because of these recent accidents," said Tucson Councilman Steve Kozachik.
In the meantime, it's up to parents to make sure their kids are safe next time they hop in a jumping castle.
Forty-two states in the country have safety regulations for bouncing castles. Arizona is one of eight states that does not.