June 17th, 2014
It’s time to get your scream on with the newest roller coaster. Or maybe you enjoy the slow rides like the Ferris Wheel or the train.
Generally speaking, you will be out in the sun much of the time when you go to an amusement park. Remember to be safe in the sun and drink plenty of water. Most parks have water fountains near restrooms, and some parks will give you free water if you bring your own container. Sometimes, you need to buy one of their beverage containers, and ask them to refill it with ice and water rather than soda.
It’s very different going with young children than it is going with teenagers. If you can, consider bringing a best friend who is evenly matched ride-wise for your kids. They’ll have more fun, and you won’t get stuck on the spinning tea cups seven times in a row.
If you have a season pass and go frequently, set aside a backpack at the beginning of the season and keep in it everything you usually need like the refillable cups, sunscreen, hats, etc.
If you have little kids, go over the rules such as not taking off their safety belts or harnesses until they’re told it’s okay to do so. Tell them that it’s required to follow the rules or else you’ll be asked to leave. Also let your young children know that it’s okay to ask for help from the ride operator if they need help getting in or out, or getting strapped in. And talk with them about the unexpected. Sometimes when you’re on a ride, it breaks. Your kids need to be patient and wait until the ride starts again or someone gets them out of the ride.
Also, make sure kids know not to enter into restricted areas, no matter what. Sometimes hats blow off, and kids (even adults!) want to climb in to retrieve the hat, but they don’t realize that the ride goes through there, and they could get seriously injured or killed. They should ask the ride operator for assistance.
Dress comfortably for the sunshine and lots of walking. Wear closed toe sneakers instead of flip flops or heels. Be aware of long hair and jewelry that could get caught in machinery. Don’t let kids wear clothing or carry bags with their names on it. Unfortunately, that’s how the bad people can get their attention and lure them away.
Make sure the kids know to yell and scream and run away if someone tries to grab them.
They should carry a sandwich bag with their name and emergency contact information in them. The sandwich bag will keep the information safe from getting wet.
Don’t let kids supervise younger kids. In the excitement, they may forget.
Make certain everyone knows where the meet up spot is if anyone gets separated or lost.
Remember to understand your limits as well when you’re going on a thrill ride. If you have any health issues, consider skipping the ride. You may think a ride looks tame enough for you, but sometimes there are things on a ride that most you can’t see like a hidden drop, a sudden stop, or a portable ladder that riders will have to climb if the ride shuts down. Don’t think that you know more about a ride than the park does. If they tell you not to ride, please respect it.
By the same token, respect the height limits on rides. Don’t get angry at the operator if they won’t let your child on who is close but not quite tall enough. They’re following rules for your child’s safety.
And if you see anything wrong like a broken bar or strap, alert the staff immediately.
Look into investing in a special wallet that is waterproof and can be carried around your neck on a long lanyard. It is more difficult to steal.
Don’t leave valuables in the backpacks or bags. No one can really watch them when you’re on the ride. Look into taking turns with who watches the bag and who gets to go on the ride. You could invest in a locker, and just carry money and a cell phone with you, and keep the camera for later.
But do you know the most dangerous ride at the amusement park?
Surprise! It’s the carousel.
The study in the journal Clinical Pediatrics tracked injuries on all kinds of rides: 4,400 per year — up to 20 a day. When researchers looked at emergency records on which the type of ride was recorded, roller coasters accounted for 10.1 percent, bumper cars 3.9 percent.
But carousels accounted for 20.9 percent — which might explain why one third of kids injured were five or younger.
The most common kind of accident was falling. So maybe it’s a good idea to listen when they say to keep your seat.
Have fun! At let us know in the comments your best tips for staying safe.