A few weeks ago I was interviewed on The Willis Report on Fox Business. I was asked to give my take on a new study that looked at childhood injuries at amusement parks. The study’s headline is: “Amusement Rides Injure 4,400+ Kids A Year”
Here’s the interview:
I found it interesting that the study broke out what it called mall rides. They raise a great point about awareness:
“Injuries from smaller amusement rides located in malls, stores, restaurants and arcades are typically given less attention by legal and public health professionals than injuries from larger amusement park rides, yet our study showed that in the U.S. a child is treated in an emergency department, on average, every day for an injury from an amusement ride located in a mall, store, restaurant or arcade,” said Dr. Smith, who is also a professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “We need to raise awareness of this issue and determine the best way to prevent injuries from these types of rides.”
The study includes these steps to insure that your child is safer:
Always follow all posted height, age, weight and health restrictions.
Make sure to follow any special seating order and/or loading instructions.
Always use safety equipment such as seat belts and safety bars.
Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.
Know your child. If you don’t think he/she will be able to follow the rules, keep him/her off the ride.
Trust your instincts. If you are worried about the safety of the ride, choose a different activity.
Avoid “mall rides” if they are over a hard, un-padded surface or if they don’t have a child restraint such as a seat belt.
I have two small children and by nature I pretty much hover over them and always help them in and out of rides, but I could see how some parents might not be as attentive when it comes to these smaller rides. Also, there’s no ride attendant or operator for these rides like there are at amusement parks and carnivals.
The study’s other major finding is that fixed amusement parks and mobile rides are regulated differently and it calls for more consistent regulation.