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Bouncy castle ban following inaccurate reporting would be warranted and damaging to small businesses
Summary: Bouncy Castle Network has expressed concerns that inaccurate reporting in the light of the tragic death of Ava-May Littleboy is putting thousands of people's livelihoods at risk.
The incident occurred at about 11am on Sunday at Gorleston beach. Members of the public and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution rushed to save the girl. East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) said: "She was taken to the James Paget hospital but later died from her injuries."
Conservative MP Robert Halfon called for a ban on bouncy castles in public areas, but it soon emerged that the incident occurred on an inflatable trampoline, which is operationally and structurally different to a bouncy castle.
Statistics provided by the Bouncy Castle Network found that over 10,000 hires were delivered that day across the country from Bouncy Castle Network members alone, and at least 500,000 annually, without incident.
Eddie Daniels, managing director of Bouncy Castle Network, said: "The death of Ava-May is tragic and our deepest condolences go to her family from our entire team."
Mr Daniels, who formerly worked as a bouncy castle and inflatable equipment operator for over 20 years, said: "Although facts are still emerging, it's imperative that the public understand that this was not a bouncy castle. Bouncy castles use constant airflow – they have a fan which must be left on to inflate the castle, with air escaping through the seams.
"This means it is impossible for an incident like this to happen on a bouncy castle. The product in question was a sealed inflatable trampoline, which is inflated and then plugged so the air cannot escape. Calling for a ban following an inaccurately-
Supt Roger Wiltshire, the Great Yarmouth district commander for Norfolk Police, described the death of the girl as "an unspeakable tragedy".
He said: "My understanding is that the mother had a conversation with the stall holder and the child went on the equipment.
Responding to political calls for a temporary ban on bouncy castles in public areas, he said: "I have spent many hours myself watching my kids on bouncy castles jumping up and down. There are thousands of pieces of inflatable equipment across the country which come out at schools, fetes and other events," adding that "every parent will have to make their own decision about them."
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Bouncy Castle Network (http://www.bouncycastlenetwork.co.uk) is a leading provider of websites and booking systems for party equipment rental companies.
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