With the onset of summer comes the planning of family vacations, trips and taking the kids to the nearest and most exciting amusement and theme parks. But, how much can we trust these places? Amusement parks, like all other heavily crowded places, pose general safety issues.
General Amusement Park Safety
Most amusement parks are only open in the warmer months and get the largest number of visitors in the summertime. The rides might look scary, but the sun will be your greatest threat of the day. Staying hydrated and cool while preventing sunburn are important steps to take when you're planning to spend the day outside.
While walking to and from destinations, your kids are bound to see something interesting that they’ll want to touch, taste or climb. It’s not a major issue, but bumps and bruises can happen when kids don’t pay attention and run into something or someone. There are a lot of ways to get injured at an amusement park, so keep your kids close and you'll likely keep them safe.
There’s also the issue of strangers. Talk to your kids about safety with strangers and make sure you and your party stay close together at all times. The greatest issue of safety at amusement parks are the ones we are not in control of: after we’ve passed the height test, sat in a seat for a ride, got buckled in and zoomed off.
Recent Amusement Park Accidents
Recently, there were two separate amusement park accidents- one resulting in injuries and the other, a fatal fall. The Shoot the Rapids water ride went wrong at Ohio’s Cedar Point on Friday, July 19 when a boat rolled backward down a hill and flipped over, landing upside down in the water. Some passengers fell out and some were caught underwater before other park visitors swam to assist them. Seven people were injured.
The same day, the Six Flags’ Texas Giant roller coaster ride near Dallas, Texas went tragically wrong. A woman fell to her death while riding the tallest steel-hybrid coaster in the world. Witnesses say she seemed concerned about her lap bar being properly secured and told the attendant, but was told she was fine.
Your Safety is Important
Amusement parks are supposed to be places where you and your family can have a day full of adventure and the risk of being hurt on a ride remains extremely small. Make sure you are reading the instructions and signs to each ride. If you ever feel uncertain or think you’re not buckled in correctly, etc., by all means, let the park employee know and be persistent. Roller coaster rides and simulator rides can whip your head, leaving the risk of headaches and more serious head and neck injuries. Your safety is more important than fun.