Girl (5) banned from bouncy castle for wearing glasses

Gracie Rooney with dad Martin
Gracie Rooney with dad Martin

The family of a five-year-old girl have hit out after she was banned from a bouncy castle for wearing glasses.

Gracie Rooney from Bishopbriggs was said to have been close to tears when she was told she wasn’t allowed onto the inflatable play area at the Irn-Bru Carnival in Glasgow.

Her parents criticised the ruling, and said she’d be more of a risk if she took her spectacles off.

Organisers claim it’s to ensure the safety of children wearing glasses.

Mother-of-two Christine Rooney, an office manager from Bishopbriggs, Glasgow, paid £50 for a family ticket for husband Martin, daughter Skye, nine, and Gracie.

Both girls were “excited” and looking forward to playing in the new inflatable area, only to find Gracie, who can only see properly with her glasses on, barred.

“We’ve been four years in a row but this is the first year they’ve had the inflatable play.

“But when we got to the front of the queue, Gracie was told she couldn’t go in if she didn’t take off her glasses.

“The guy said it had something to do with insurance. We couldn’t believe it.

“She can’t see without them and we were forced to turn back.”

The disappointed family approached festival organisers QD Events asking them to explain the snub.

Bosses at the SECC event confirmed the ban, explaining wearing them was seen as a health and safety danger because if they broke, it could put other kids at risk.

Christine said: “It would be more a danger if I had let Gracie go in the area without her glasses on. They’ve banned specs but there doesn’t seem to be any restrictions on children wearing things like earrings.

“Having to wear glasses can mean kids are stigmatised by their peers - they shouldn’t have to put up with authorities singling them out too.”

Scottish Conservative Chief Whip John Lamont said: “This is clearly an excessive step which should be reconsidered.

“It’s unnecessary, and threatens to ostracise children for no other reason than they have to wear glasses.”

One of the bodies that represents opticians in the UK said there was “no evidence to suggest wearing glasses” significantly increases the chances of injuries.

A spokeswoman for QD Events defended the glasses ban on the six bouncy castles and rides in the new zone.

She added there were no similar restrictions in other parts of the carnival.

Fran McIntyre, Managing Director of QD Events, said: “We apologise for disappointing the Rooney family.

“In line with health and safety regulations, our policy is that children are not allowed on any inflatable rides while wearing glasses.

“We will be offering the family a full refund.”