Summertime is a great time for families to have fun at amusement parks or carnivals, and spend quality time together. While these places offer great fun for all ages, they can also be very dangerous. Injuries on amusement park rides can range from a stubbed toe to dismemberment and death if the proper safety precautions are not followed.
Because amusement park rides are not subject to federal safety regulations regarding child restraints, parents must ensure their children ride safely and stay inside the ride until it comes to a full stop. In general, parents are the first line of defense when it comes to amusement parks.
Here are some suggestions from the National Safety Council to ensure a safe amusement park ride experience:
- Conduct your own inspection. Look around. Is the ride clean and well maintained?Do the ride operators seem professional and competent?
- Check your restraints. Buckle any seatbelt, make sure your lap bar or horse collar locks down and visually inspect pins and door latches. If you notice any problems, notify the operator before the ride begins.
- Listen to and follow warnings and instructions. Stay seated and keep away from tracks and machinery.
- “You must be this tall” restrictions should be followed. These restrictions are based on the size and position of the ride’s restraint system. Better your child suffer temporary disappointment than a serious injury that could last a lifetime.
- Respect all posted restrictions. Don’t assume the park is exaggerating the danger.
- Stay seated! Don’t stand up on roller coasters or other rides. Standing on a sit-down roller coaster puts your center of gravity too high. The same forces that ordinarily conspire to keep you in your seat now work to throw you from the ride!
- Don’t rock the boat. Creating extra excitement by adding extra motion to the ride can only spell trouble. Let the natural motion of the ride provide your fun.
- Don’t drink and ride. Never ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Know when to quit. Stop riding before you or your child become excessively tired.
- Don’t stay silent. Report all problems to the amusement park.