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Should you let your kids get on carnival rides?

On Behalf of | Sep 20, 2019 | Premises Liability

Autumn in New Jersey is a beautiful time of year. Burlington residents often engage in outdoor activities that won’t be possible to do once the weather turns cold and the snow begins to fall.

It’s often a time for carnivals to make their last passes through the northeast before heading down to the southern circuit for the winter months. In fact, your kids may already have been begging for a chance to go on some rides and scarf down some Midway food. Should you allow them to go?

Dangerous rides can inflict serious injuries

The problem is that amusement parks and carnival rides often operate without a great deal of oversight — and none at the federal level.

Transparency is another issue, as the industry is known for paying settlements attached to stringent confidentiality clauses that keep consumers from knowing just how dangerous these rides can be.

Carnivals staffed by sketchy ride operators

Without maligning all carnival ride operators with a stereotype, it is still safe to say that many amusement ride companies hire people on the fringes of society who might otherwise be unable to secure gainful employment.

They may have criminal backgrounds or struggle with sobriety. Some may even have active warrants for their arrest that they are able to dodge by remaining on the move.

Before you give the nod to your kids to climb aboard those rides, it is important that you first pay attention to the ride and its assembly.

Inspect the ride — and its operator

Buy the kids some popcorn and cotton candy and take a leisurely stroll through the carnival. Pay close attention to the way the ride is put together. Are the parts working smoothly or grinding and clanking? Are the industrial-strength extension cords in good shape or are they worn and frayed, and capable of electrocuting the riders?

Spend a few minutes in casual conversation with the ride operators. Do they appear intoxicated or stoned or have beer on their breath? If so, take it as your cue to exit stage left with the kids.

Know your rights after a carnival ride injury

If your child winds up getting hurt on a carnival ride, as their parent, you must act quickly to preserve their rights to compensation for their injuries, as well as for other associated damages.