Safety at theme parks

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer wouldn’t be summer without a trip to the theme park or carnival. But too many times trips to theme parks or the carnival turn into tragedy.
The following information is from the Safer Parks website. This information can be obtained at
According to accident records from state safety agencies, toddlers, preschoolers and elementary school-aged children account for half of all ride-related accidents and three quarters of accidents where a rider falls or is forcefully ejected from an amusement ride.
Amusement rides are not required to be child safe, not even those designed specifically for toddlers and preschoolers. Accidents involving children trypically stem from “The circle of misplace trust.” Industry counts on parents to protect children from ride-related hazards and parents count on industry to design child-safe rides. The only way to prevent those accidents is to break the circle.
Here are some tips for parents at theme parks:
• be a cautious consumer when choosing amusement rides for your child. Amusement rides are no different than any other kind of product targeted at children. They offer benefits and risks. Use the same good judgment when picking amusement rides that you do when deciding which foods or TV shows or toys are safe for your kids.
• watch the ride with your child before boarding. Is it safe for your child?
• always obey minimum height, age, weight and health restrictions.
• don’t put children on rides they’re afraid of.
• follow any special instructions about seating, order or loading.
• always use the safety equipment provided, but be aware of its limitations.
• watch all extremities-including feet if the ride has open sides. Make sure you tell your child to keep their extremities in the ride at all times.
• teach small children what to do if they get separated from you.
• trust your gut- don’t give up your personal responsibility or judgment to any business. Watch the ride while your child is on it.
• remember that amusement rides aren’t really magic. Never forget that you’re loading very young children onto heavy machinery at amusement parks and exposing them to water hazards at water parks.
Treat amusement ride safety seriously, just like traffic safety, water safety and bike safety. Teach your children how to be safe riders, but don’t rely on verbal instructions to keep young children safe around heavy machinery. Pay close attention to their actions when you visit amusement parks and carnivals.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox