During the summer months, New Jersey families often head to amusement parks and visit traveling carnivals for entertainment. After all, strolling down the Midway nibbling on a pastel tuft of cotton candy is a rite of summer that all kids enjoy.
But sugar overloads aside, there are far more risky hazards at an amusement park or carnival that could ruin your child's summer - or even cause long-term consequences.
Crash-test dummy fail is worrisome
In order to get ready for the big influx of summer tourists, earlier this spring, an Ocean City amusement park conducted tests of their rides using crash test dummies designed to mimic the actual weight of humans.
At Playland's Castaway Cove, workers loaded two of the dummies onto the GaleForce ride. What happened next was unexpected and very concerning, as the dummies were tossed out of the ride and onto the adjacent motel's roof.
The routine test took place on April 20. The accident with the dummies caused damage to the plywood and shingles covering the roof of the Ebb Tide Suites.
Officials downplay test fail
In their statement released to the media, the vice president of the amusement park announced that "[t]his was a mishap with the water dummy itself, not with the ride in any way. There is nothing more to add."
He went on to add that the composition of the water-filled dummies was what led to the test failure. He claimed that the rigidity of an actual human body was sufficient to secure them within the ride car once the lap bar came down over their legs.
Reportedly, the ride gets tested daily and had not produced other failing results.
It only takes one
Of course, worried parents may point out that all it takes to change the trajectory of a child's life is one split-second disaster occurring on a carnival or amusement park ride. They are right to be wary of entrusting their precious children to the oversight of often-distracted ride operators.
Does this mean that parents should ban amusement park rides entirely? Not necessarily, but parents should be cautious about the rides they let their kids get on.
Take a good look around the park or carnival site. Do the rides and electrical components show signs of wear and tear that could destabilize them? If so, take a hard pass and find something else to entertain the kiddos.
File a claim after amusement park ride accidents
If your child winds up injured in an amusement park ride accident, as parents, you will be responsible for filing a claim for damages on behalf of your injured minor children. Don't delay, as there are strict time limits involved with these types of accident cases.