Signing an indemnity form to attend a children's birthday party

Are forms to attend birthday parties on the rise?
Are forms to attend birthday parties on the rise? Photo: Getty

Whatever happened to treating kids to a few games and sending them on their way with a belly full of cake and a goody bag of treats in tow?

Now, we read stories about parents spending up to $50,000 on their children's birthday and hosts invoicing other parents when their children don't show up.

Posting in the Essential Kids forums last week, user BadCat vented frustration at having to sign an indemnity form to attend a children's birthday party.

"I don't want to have to sign a form saying that if my kid gets killed at your chosen birthday party venue that I can't do anything about it," the user wrote about her child being invited to play mini paintball.

"Whatever happened to a nice tense game of pass the parcel and a piece of cake?"

While the user said they weren't actually concerned as the children are given helmets and full body armour to wear, they "just really dislike having to sign a piece of paper on a Sunday morning telling me not to get snippy if they break my child."

Judging from the response, signing a waiver at a birthday party is common depending on the activity.

"We signed one yesterday for a trampoline party. I too was pondering the ramifications. I'm glad to learn they aren't worth the paper they're printed on," one user commented.


Another said: "When I was a kid, family friends owned a laser tag centre. They told us that hardly a day went by without someone breaking a bone or badly injuring themselves."

Similarly, Jen Cole, who was throwing an 18th birthday party for her son, was worried about being sued for underage drinking, she sent out a legal document for parents to sign.

The party was a success and Cole wasn't sued by anyone.

So, if signing legal documents to attend a birthday party bothers you, there's always the option of not going.

But in the case of paintball, one user pointed out, bruising is likely but they'd "expect them to live through it."

What do you think about signing an indemnity form to attend a children's birthday party?