This End UP!

Up, Up and Away!  

Source: Huffington Post

by Just Add Kids Founder,

Paula Herrmann

It happened over 4 years ago, that fateful trip down down down 3 floors to the basement parking lot of the Intercontinental Hotel complex in downtown Milwaukee. It was Thanksgiving weekend, Saturday, at about 4:50pm. We’d gone to see “A Christmas Carol” and were headed back to the car. Three of us, myself, my husband, and my son, who was 6 at the time, boarded an overloaded elevator with 7 other people. I suppose you can already figure out what happened. Yup, we got stuck. Read more…

                                                                                                                                 Over an hour later, a few mini panic attacks, and 7 new best friendships formed with our co-victims from Kenosha, we finally get rescued by the Milwaukee fire department. Scarred for life! I resist any and all opportunities to ride an elevator, unless when absolutely necessary…and I can count the number of times on, well, now, 2 hands. I did a pretty good job maintaining my composure during our entrapment, especially for the sake of my son, yet now everyone I’m with has to hear the story and deal with my elevator phobia.

                                                                                                                                  So what’s “up” about the elevator saga? Well, I’ll now segway into telling you Salvation Army bounce housethe story of when that same son got “his bell rung” in the Salvation Army Red Kettle bounce house. It was two weeks ago and my now 10 year attended an event at the Salvation Army in Oak Creek. Actually, sonny boy came to work with me as I had my Just Add Kids table and corn hole tossing game set up outside to meet, greet and mingle with the families that attended. Since it was only several days back, you may remember how windy this particular day was. Hmmmm, it could’ve been a warm lovely sunny Saturday, yet dang, THAT wind!

                                                                                                                                   As you can see in the picture, this bounce house was anchored/strapped down by several PVC buckets filled with sand. There were at least 2, if not 3 people working the bounce house, which for the most part, included sitting on the buckets to keep the dang house secured. At one point, this huge rush of wind blows in, the stuff on my table flies off, my lightweight lawn chairs collapse, and low and behold the bounce house takes flight, tumbling on over almost onto Howell Avenue. And guess who’s kid is inside? That’s right….My son is hanging from the doorway which is now facing the clouds. I’m not panicking and neither is he. People rushed from everywhere to tend to the bounce house gone astray. At some point, he unclenches his hands from the dooorway and drops to the ground. We get him out. Jimmy Johns shows up. Yah, really! Quickly offers him a sandwich for his troubles. He’s a bit shook up, but soon gets over it and has a great story of survival to tell. Eh?

                                                                                                                                      I probably wasn’t ever going to tell you this story. It all ends well. I’m pals with the people at the Salvation Army. All is good. But then, I learn about this story this week: “Bouncy House Flies Away, Seriously Injuring Children” from a friend’s posting on my Facebook wall. Get out!  Do you see that picture above? It looks like a flippin’ UFO, but it’s a bounce house. Hallelujah, the Red Bucket did not take flight! That obviously was not the case here, or as reported in this article there have been other cases of blown away inflatables. Sadly, in this story this Little Tikes 10 x 10 foot roofless nylon broke loose from its plastic anchoring stakes and was swept skyward. There were 3 children, a 10 year old girl who fell out immediately, and two boys, ages 5 and 6 who didn’t fall out until the inflatable toy was 15 feet up in the air. One boy has a serious head injuring resulting from hitting a parked car as he fell. The other has two broken arms and several broken facial bones. How terribly awful.

                                                                                                                                  So as much as I am leary about elevators these days, trust me, I will be checking those bounce house anchors to make sure they are of commercial grade, and I will be very conscious of any wind before I let my kiddos loose in another bounce house blown up outside.

                                                                                                                                  I like to keep mine, and my kiddos feet firmly planted safely on the ground, thank ya!


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