From State Fair to Six Flags, amusement parks are usually at the top of our summer bucket list. But, nothing turns a fun day of food and roller coasters bad faster than a preventable accident or injury. According to a study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy, rides injure more than 4,400 children each year. And it’s not the big rides that you need to worry about. These rides typically include carousels, roller coasters, bumper cars, mini trains and kiddy rides at parks, fairs, restaurants and shopping malls.
How Amusement Park Accidents Happen
A ride can malfunction, a ride operator can make a mistake or you may be struck by a flying object during your visit to the park. Any of these things can result in serious or even fatal injuries. However, the most common types of amusement park accidents are falls.
Falls typically occur when:
- A trip hazard is on the ground.
- The ground is slippery.
- The ride lacks properly working restraints.
- The way to get on and off the ride is unsafe.
The most common injuries from amusement park rides tend to be soft tissue injuries, strains and sprains, fractures and concussions. Surveys of injuries sustained at amusement parks state that the most dangerous rides are carousels, roller coasters, and bumper cars.
Tips for Parents at Amusement Parks
As children experience the highest percentage of injuries at amusement parks, keep these tips in mind to help keep children safe on amusement rides:
- Pay attention to the rules. Follow all age, height, weight and health restrictions.
- Follow the operator’s instructions while getting on and off the ride.
- Use safety equipment such as seat belts and safety bars. Avoid rides with missing or damaged safety equipment.
- Avoid rides with hard, unpadded seats.
- Keep hands and feet inside the ride.
- Do not let your child on the ride if he or she is too young to follow the rules.
- Trust your instincts. If you are concerned about the safety of a ride, choose another activity.