They may look harmless enough, but don't be fooled. Those bouncy inflatable castles and slides can be lethal. At a recent soccer tournament in Oceanside, New York, high winds sent three inflatable "bounce houses" flying, injuring 13. One woman suffered head and spinal injuries when a slide toppled her.
Mike Perniches, a father who ran to the rescue, said, “I never thought there would be any serious issues, any concerns with safety. But now, I’m like, forget it.”
Oceanside was by no means the first in a long line of similar incidents, where inflatable’s have been toppled by winds or have collapsed under too much weight. In the past two months alone, there have been at least ten reported incidents in the USA, with over 40 people injured. The problem is not with the inflatable’s themselves, but the lack of regulations surrounding them. Often they are set up incorrectly or unsupervised.
“I wish this [incident] was a rarity, but it’s not. It happens all the time,” said Jim Barber, a spokesman for the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials, based in Brandon, Florida. “These are probably the most dangerous amusement devices they have.”
A Cincinnati diocese banned inflatable rides at church festivals in 2009 after a gust of wind threw a slide about 65 metres, carrying an 11-year old boy with it. He walked away with just bruises.
A Pennsylvania man wasn't so lucky, after an inflatable slide at a baseball game pinned him down and killed him. A five-year old boy was also killed last year when he fell off an inflatable and landed on a concrete floor at an indoor entertainment centre.
Barber, of the National Association of Amusement Ride Safety Officials, noted that the rides don’t just float away and that they need to be properly installed and securely fixed with stakes in the ground. But many rental companies simply drop off the inflatables at a venue, providing little instruction.
“A lot of times they never get anchored down; they put too many kids in, they put two and three year old kids in with a 16-year old,” said Barber.
This summer, if your children want to jump in an inflatable, by all means let them. But check that the ride is adequately supervised, looks secure, and isn't overcrowded. If you are planning to rent one in Canada, be sure to have it inspected by the T.S.S.A. beforehand. It's not only the law; it could well be a matter of life and death.
Australian actor Russell Crowe isn't known for his diplomacy. When one of his Twitter followers asked last week whether Crowe would get his newborn son circumcised, he let rip:
“Circumcision is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that God requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect.”
Crowe then appealed to his Jewish friends with their "funny little hats" -- namely Eli Roth, the director of Crowe's latest movie, The Man with the Iron Fists -- to "stop cutting your babies.” He finished by saying, "If you feel it is your right to cut things off your babies please unfollow and f--k off; I’ll take attentive parenting over barbarism.”
Needless to say, his comments, which some have interpreted as anti-semitic, have since been deleted. The actor has also apologized for any offence he may have caused.
“I have a deep and abiding love for all people of all nationalities. I’m very sorry that I have said things on here that have caused distress. My personal beliefs aside, I realize that some will interpret this debate as me mocking the rituals and traditions of others. I am very sorry.”
While the so-called "Intactivist movement" is growing support across the country, many parents still choose to circumcise their sons, citing religious, cultural, and even health reasons.
But even rituals of faith come and go and change with the times. Stores used to close on Sundays and some Catholics refused to eat meat on Fridays. Most cultures agree that female circumcision is barbaric.
So should male circumcision be outlawed, or should it remain a personal choice for parents to make?"
Tanta Pharmaceuticals Inc. has voluntarily recalled its children's acetaminophen products after three reports of problems with the child-resistant caps, according to Health Canada.
“The child safety mechanism on some of the caps may not be locking properly and caps may open even in the locked position,” claimed the health agency in a press release last week. The worry is that children may accidently ingest the pills.
Junior Strength Acetaminophen Tablets 160 mg and Children’s Strength Acetaminophen Tablets 80 mg, which are available at retail locations throughout Canada (including Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart and Preferred Pharmacy), are listed in the recall.
Affected products are as follows:
- Life Brand Junior Rapid Melts, Junior Strength Acetaminophen Tablets, Bubblegum 20s, DIN 02230934
- Life Brand Junior Rapid Melts, Junior Strength Acetaminophen Tablets, Grape 20s, DIN 02230934
- Life Brand Child’s Rapid Melts, Children’s Strength Acetaminophen Tablets 80 mg, Bubblegum 24s, DIN 02015676
- Life Brand Child’s Rapid Melts, Children’s Strength Acetaminophen Tablets, Grape 24s, DIN 02015676
For further information, contact Tanta Pharmaceuticals at 1-905-430-8440."