A 3-year-old girl died after she was thrown from a bouncy castle at 11 a.m. Sunday at Gorleston Beach in Norfolk, England.
A witness said the young girl, Ava-May Littleboy, was launched 20 feet into the air after the bouncy castle she was playing in exploded from the heat. Civilians and members of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution rushed to perform CPR, and she was taken by the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST) to a hospital , where she succumbed to her injuries.
An EEAST spokeswoman told the Guardian: “Several of our teams were dispatched, with the first on scene in four minutes. The young female was seriously injured and in cardiac arrest on our arrival and was conveyed to James Paget Hospital.
“Sadly, despite all of the efforts and interventions, she was pronounced deceased.
“We would like to thank everyone who rushed to respond to the young patient and did everything possible to give her treatment and care. Our thoughts are with the family at this time.”
Ava-May’s mother, Chloe Littleboy, 25, was with her during the incident. Ava-May’s family describe her as a “little girl that loved life.”
Norfolk Police released the following statement from the victim’s family: “She was not your ordinary little girl, as anyone she met, she would leave a lasting impression on. Anyone that met her would not want to forget her. Her infectious laugh and smile could light up even the darkest of rooms. She was the little girl that loved life.”
Many tributes have been pouring in for the family. Ava-May’s aunt, Abbie, shared on Facebook that the family is hoping to receive donations so a park bench could be erected at the park in Ava-May’s memory.
However, this is not the first incident that has involved a bouncy castle.
Just two years ago, a 7-year-old girl died in Harlow, England, after the bouncy castle she was playing in blew away because fairground workers had not adequately secured the inflatable house. The workers were found guilty of manslaughter after the judge described Summer Grant’s death as “entirely preventable.”
Earlier this year, another bouncy castle was upended by strong winds in China and a 7-year-old boy was killed.
In one horrifying video shared on Facebook, a father witnesses his son slip through the matting of an inflatable fun house.
“He could [have] suffocated,” Brendon Ramboud wrote on Facebook. “I had to rip the cover back and all I could see was [his] foot so I grabbed it and pulled him out….If I [hadn’t] seen it happen, they wouldn’t [have] found him till they [packed] it up to put it away. You couldn’t even hear him screaming underneath the matting.”
— WNYT NewsChannel 13 (@WNYT) May 13, 2014
According to the U.K. youth organization Boys’ Brigade, approximately 10,000 injuries from bouncy castles occur in the U.K. every year, which is certainly something to consider before you allow your child to play in one.
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