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    Staying Safe in Summertime: Resorts and Theme Park Hazards to Avoid

    Nearly 31,000 people end up in the hospital as a result of injuries sustained at a theme park or amusement park. While some are less serious, they all have one thing in common – no federal regulation. While carnivals are regulated by the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, permanent amusement parks are not. States can regulate how they see fit, and sometimes the rides are only inspected on an annual basis. Some states have no regulation at all for fixed-site parks.

    Here we will discuss the dangers that exist behind the gates of these popular vacation spots and tips to keep your family safe.

    Dangers at Amusement Parks

    • Water slides present many unknown dangers. The water can contain high levels of bacteria and injuries from lacerations and falls are common. Know the regulations of your state before allowing yourself or children to ride on the slides. Check to see if inspections are required.
    • Strangers and pedophiles frequent amusement parks because of the access to so many children. Often times, pedophiles are hiding underneath the costumes of your child’s favorite character. Children trust those familiar characters, so be aware anytime there is contact between the people in costumes and your child. Always stay together and don’t let your child go anywhere alone. Don’t allow children to sit with a stranger on a ride.
    • Take breaks between high-speed rides. High-speed rides can have a toll on bodies so a 10 to 15-minute break is necessary to allow your body to adjust.
    • Stay hydrated. Avoid sweets or caffeine at a theme park or amusement park. Stay hydrated continuously to avoid heat-related illness.
    • Choose rides appropriate for a child’s age. If you aren’t sure if a ride is age-appropriate, then choose a different ride.
    • Secure yourself and your child properly when on any ride. Whether a belt, bar, latch or strap, double check that your safety gear is tight. Always stay seated and secure all belonging in buttoned pockets or zippers. Be extra careful when fitting straps on small, thin or overweight riders since they face a greater risk of being ejected.
    • Know injury signs. Immediately bring your child to first aid if they have a severe headache, are nauseous, vomiting, feel weak or sense tingling or numbness.
    • Have an escape plan in place. Create a plan that would be used in case of violence, sudden weather or an accident. Have an exit strategy that avoids main entrances such as fire exits. Choose a family meeting spot in the event of an emergency.

    By following these helpful tips, remaining vigilant and aware of potential risks, you can ensure you and your family remain safe while visiting your favorite theme or amusement parks.

    John Leighton, Esq., is a board certified personal injury trial lawyer and managing partner of Leighton Law with offices in Miami and Orlando. He represents seriously injured victims of negligence, sexual abuse, medical malpractice, violent crime, defective products and resort, travel, and vacation accidents. His lifelong passion is helping people who have had the worst thing happen in their lives.


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