No one likes to talk about it but every year, nationwide, an estimated 8,000 children ages 14 and under are treated in emergency rooms for injuries involving thrill rides at amusement parks and traveling carnivals; in an average year, three or four die, reports Safe Kids USA (www.usasafekids.org).
Kiddie rides designed for ages 4 and under account for nearly a quarter of amusement park injuries to children. This category includes inflatable attractions such as bounces and slides.
While portable carnival rides are subject to safety regulations enforced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Amusement park rides at a fixed location are not subject to federal safety standards, Safe Kids USA reminds parents:
— Role-model proper safety behavior. Children are more likely to follow safety rules when they see their parents doing so.
— Supervise your child getting on and off a ride.
— Don’t allow children to supervise younger children on rides.
— Always use the safety equipment provided.
— Never get off a moving ride.
— Don’t let children ride if they’re too tired to comply with safety procedures. Or are afraid.
— Trust your instincts. If a ride looks like it is poorly maintained or an operator seems to be inattentive or unfit, don’t let your children ride. For additional information about summertime safety, please visit www.usa.safekids.org