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More than 4,000 Children are Harmed in Amusement Parks per Year

A new study revealed this week that more than 4,000 children are harmed in amusement parks on rides every single year. The research was completed at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. This hospital is located in Columbus, Ohio. The researchers determined that between 1990 and 2010 about 93,000 children under the age of 18 were treated in the U.S. emergency rooms for amusement-ride related wounds and injuries. This means that there is an average of 4,500 injuries of this nature annually.

The study also pointed out that more than 70% of these injuries happen between May and September, when the weather is warm and when children spend their summer holiday riding rides at their local amusement parks or taking vacations to parks in other states. There was an average of 20 injuries a day that happened at these amusement parks and required medical attention. 28% of all injury victims injured their head and neck, and 24% of all injuries were to the arms.

The U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission has jurisdiction over mobile rides and fixed-site rides are currently left to state and local governments. This means that the system for ride safety is fragmented. The author of the amusement park ride study claims that a national system could help prevent amusement-ride injuries. This would hold all ride operators and creators to the same standard and make sure that all rides were maintained at the same level.

As well, the research showed that 18% of injuries involve the face and 17% involve legs. Often the accidents caused soft-tissue injuries like whiplash. This was the case for about 28% of all injuries. 21% of the young victims suffered a strain or a sprain, and about 20% of all amusement park riders who received cuts. As well, 10% of all riders broke a bone. US News reports that most of these injuries did not require hospitalization or observation. This means that serious injuries from amusement park injuries are rare.

Child Pediatrics says that while the majority of amusement park ride injuries are not serious, in the summer there is an injury that requires hospitalization about once every three days. Most youngsters needed hospitalization after falling out of a ride (32%) or after hitting their head or a part of their body on the ride (18%.) This is why ride operators often warn riders to keep their hands, arms and legs inside the vehicle. Sometimes items can also hit the rider, especially if it is a phone, piece of jewelry, clothing item, or another accessory or item that an individual up ahead dropped during the ride.

About one-third of ride injuries reported in this study happened at amusement parks, whereas 29% happened on mobile rides that were set up at fairs and festivals. Another 12% of injuries happened at arcades, malls, or other locations where rides were installed. Most of these mall ride injuries involve a child falling off the ride. Carousels and other rides that are typically found in shopping centers can be particularly dangerous because they are often set above hard ground.

The researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital say that it is important that ride manufacturers always post the height, weight, age, and health restrictions near the entrance of a ride. As well, it is important that loading and seating order instructions are honored and posted for riders.

The researchers also say that all rides should have the appropriate safety restrains or bars and all riders should be warned to keep their hands and feet inside the ride at all times. If your young one was injured on an amusement park ride and you believe that the ride manufacturer or operator is to blame, then you need to talk to a New York City personal injury attorney at Greenberg & Stein today for more information!