Summer Means Carnivals And Amusement Park Rides. But Did You Know Carnival Ride Accidents Happen More Often That We May Think.
With Summer temperatures warming we take trips to the pool, outdoor barbeques, and have fun at carnivals and amusement parks. But did you know that amusement parks and carnivals can be dangerous? According to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, carnival ride accidents are more prevalent that you may think.
In recent years, there have been several high profile carnival ride accidents in the United States.
Just this year, two young children were injured while riding a motorcycle ride at a carnival in Louisiana. A carnival in Oregon shut down operations of one of its carnival rides after three injures occurred on two consecutive days. A woman was killed after jumping off a free-fall carnival ride in California. The number of carnival ride accidents is alarming, as the height of carnival season has yet to occur. [http://www.jconline.com/story/news/local/2015/05/26/children-injured-when-carnival-ride-breaks/27986899/, June 2015] [http://www.wcsh6.com/story/news/local/2015/06/16/windajammer-carnival-cancelled-waterville-accdident/28804977/, June 2015] [http://www.dailybreeze.com/general-news/20150529/woman-dies-after-fall-from-attraction-at-san-bernardino-county-fair, June 2015]
In 2011, a woman died after falling out of a roller coaster in Arlington, Texas and in 2014, a 10-year old girl was injured while riding in a roller coaster in Southern California and two teen boys were injured at another California carnival. Three children were involved in a carnival ride accident in Maine.
The CPSC estimates that over 4,400 children are injured in carnival ride accidents per year. A handful or less of people are killed in carnival ride accidents each year, but deaths can happen, just like the incident involving the Texas woman and the California woman. Although not as many people are killed in carnival ride accidents, the thousands of injuries that occur- often in children- should give pause to caregivers and carnival attendees.
A study conducted by the CPSC in 2013 found that roller coasters account for about 10 percent of carnival ride accidents, bumper cars account for four percent, and carousels account for nearly 21 percent of all carnival ride accidents. The researchers believe the lack of restraints and age limits on merry-go-round rides could account for the high number of injuries seen on those rides.
The researchers found that head and neck injuries from falls were the most common injuries at any ride at a carnival. Falls accounted for about 31 percent of all carnival ride accidents and injuries, with 29 percent of accidents causing soft tissue damage. About 1.5 of all injuries required hospitalization.
The CPSC recommends that caregivers take the following precautions before riding or allowing children to rid on carnival rides:
Make sure children meet all height and weight requirements
Make sure adults do not exceed height or weight requirements
Avoid “mall rides” as these are regulated less than rides at carnivals or amusement parks
Follow all safety guidelines and use included safety restraints
Do not allow children to ride on rides that could pose a danger (for example, some roller coaster restraints are too loose for young children even when they meet the height requirements)
What makes carnival rides even less safe is that they are not regulated by the federal government or the CPSC. The amusement park industry is largely responsible for creating their own safety guidelines- which carnivals may or may not follow.