Whether you are planning a day trip to a local theme park or a trip to a far-flung attraction during spring break, be aware of potential safety hazards to avoid serious injury. In 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, the Consumer Products Safety Commission reported about 30,000 emergency room visits associated with amusement park injuries. However, amusement parks rely on state regulations, with no federal industry guidelines for ride safety.
Make sure that you and your family enjoy a fun, mishap-free day with these theme park safety tips.
Pay attention to the signs
Each amusement park ride has posted health, height and weight restrictions, as well as other rules for riding. If you should not ride according to these regulations, do not try to do so anyway.
Express safety concerns
If you do not think the operator has secured you correctly in a ride, let him or her know. Double-check seat belts, lap bars and other safety mechanisms before the ride starts. Ask to get off the ride if you still do not feel safe.
Position yourself properly
On roller coasters and other thrill rides, positioning yourself correctly can protect your neck and prevent serious injury. Keep your head straight, and look forward during the ride. Keep hands and feet inside the car at all times. Observe rides before getting on so that you will know what to expect. Never stand up when a ride is moving, and stay buckled in your seat until the operator tells you that it is safe to stand.
Prevent heat-related illness by drinking plenty of water during your day at the park. Stay in the shade or in an air-conditioned room whenever possible. If you begin to feel faint or dizzy, take a break out of the sun. Try visiting the park early in the day and after sundown, when the sun is less intense. Always wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors.