Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Banned By The State VIII - Bouncy Castles

Anyone who's had or seen kids at play knows how much they love flying round a bouncy castle for ten minutes. It's energetic, good exercise and fun. So, no one would want to put a stop to that, would they ?

Step forward, Bersted Parish Council in West Sussex, which has just voted to ban all inflatable play equipment from its playing fields. Frightened to death by a High Court ruling last month which found the organisers of a party liable for damages after a child had been injured on a bouncy castle, the council have decided that it's not worth the risk. They reckon it would take four adults to provide the required supervision. Four ? For a bouncy castle ?

This is another of those situations where I just want to shake the world by its shoulders and shout "Get a bloody grip on reality, will you ?" The risks of serious injury in a bouncy castle are tiny. Sure, it can happen. But it's very, very unlikely.

So another harmless, almost entirely risk-free avenue of pleasure is closed down on our children. Presumably the kids of Bersted will go and play in a river or a railway line instead, but that'll be OK because it's not on the Parish Council's watch.

The chairman of the council is quoted as saying "People are saying that we are in a nanny state but as responsible citizens we have to be seen to take what action is necessary." Well, he got one thing right, anyway.

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