‘Don’t Drink and Jump,’ Warn NZ Authorities About Bouncy Castle Danger

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I have a new shoulder thing.

My physiotherapist is not sure whether it was caused by extending my Little Giant ladder or because, at 57, my body is crumbling and returning to the Earth.

So I have been given yet another set of rehabilitation exercises to do.

These are different from the neck and lower back exercises that I am supposed to do religiously, but which I forget to do until my back gets all stabby.

These new rehab exercises are the weeniest ever.

My physiotherapist, Aimee, with whom I have a long-term relationship, says I need to use a very light weight.

“No worries. I’ll use Junior’s 5-kilo dumbbells,” sez I. “I used to lift weights, but much heavier ones.”

“Nooo. I was thinking more like half-kilo weights. Or you could use a book. Or even a full plastic bottle.”

This has to be one of those signpost moments in your life.

“On this day in 2013, the Blog was reduced to doing rehabilitation curls with shampoo.”

Except that I cannot bring myself to use the missus’ gurly foo-foo smelling shampoo.

So I bought a manly $2 rubber hammer to rehab with.

I pretend that I am *Thor.

Rehabbing at the “Home for Crumbling, Old Super Heroes.”

Bouncy Castles

Which brings us to Bouncy Castles.

A story in today’s Fairfax media website says that the NZ Accident Compensation Corporation — the government agency that pays for my various rehabs — is worried about Bouncy Castles.

Not so much because four-year-olds are getting hurt in them.

But because an increasing number of older adults are reporting bouncing-related injuries.

Usually at parties.

After consuming many adult beverages.

And I quote:

“Figures from ACC show injuries relating to inflatable castles have risen by over 60 per cent in the last five years, and the fastest growing demographic is the over-40s.”

“At least 18 people aged 40-plus registered claims for bouncy-castle-related injuries … including nine people over 50.”

Even more alarming is this single statistic.

“So far this year, at least one person aged over 70 has claimed ACC for a bouncy castle injury.”

ACC figures show that bouncy castle injury claims cost New Zealand more than $100,000 every year, with 2010 a particularly costly year at $212,816.

One Bouncy Castle industry veteran warns his clients, and we are not making this up:

“DON’T DRINK AND JUMP.”

“I can pretty much guarantee alcohol would be involved in at least half those (adult) accidents,” he says.

Another operator refuses to rent to adults because the castles get “thrashed”.

“They get cigarette butts in them, get alcohol in them — I don’t think bouncy castles should be for adults”.

Wiser words were never spoken.

Especially to the shampoo-and-rubber-hammer rehabilitation demographic of which I now belong.

.

* And, yes, using the small rubber hammer for rehab actually hurts my shoulder a lot. Sigh.

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