Summer months see early increase in amusement park accidents and injuries

Although most children are still getting used to the lazy days of summer, accidents have begun to pop up throughout the United States as a result of rides malfunctioning at amusement parks.

In late May, a 5-year old boy suffered a concussion at an amusement park in southwestern Iowa. According to a news release, the child was on a ride with kiddie-sized monster trucks that ran on a constantly moving platform. The truck the child was in flipped over on the one in front of it, causing the concussion as well as a small laceration to the child’s forehead. The child was taken to a nearby medical center immediately thereafter. Reports say that the child was strapped onto the ride, and was released the following day.

At the time of publication, local authorities are investigating the cause of the accident to determine how exactly it occurred.

The accident caused great concern in the community as the ride continued to move even after the truck flipped. According to a witness, three men jumped onto the ride and flipped the truck back onto its right side before stopping the ride. Some suggested that a failsafe was needed to stop the ride immediately in the case of an accident.

Accidents such as this raise the question: how safe are the rides at amusement parks?

According to a recent study, amusement park accidents and resulting injuries are not excessively common, but the recorded figure of 4,400 tracked injuries on amusement park rides is scary enough for parents to speak up and show concern. While less than two percent of those injuries required a trip to the hospital, the risk of injury is certainly an issue.

The study showed that the larger rides and roller coasters were not as big of a threat as the smaller, kiddie rides that at first glance, appear less dangerous. Concussions, falls, and broken limbs were more common on those smaller rides such as the one in Iowa.  One eight-year old girl broke her arm reaching out of a small, kid-sized roller coaster. Her mother was shocked when she heard that the child’s arm was indeed broken at the emergency room, as the ride was approved for children younger than her daughter.

Carousels account for the largest percent of injuries at 20.9%, with roller coasters and bumper cars accounted for 10.1% and 3.9% of recorded amusement park injuries, respectively.

In light of these figures, industry advocates warn parents to read the ride instructions and warnings and to explain them thoroughly to children before allowing them on the ride. Also, be wary of rides that the child may not be still on, or be tempted to misbehave, thus placing them at risk for injury. Caution and foresight should contribute to a safer experience for parent and child.

When a day of fun at an amusement park is interrupted by an unfortunate injury, the consequences often reach beyond a disappointed and frustrated child. Concussions, lacerations, and broken bones can all be difficult to deal with, both in terms of money and emotional duress. An experienced attorney can help determine who is at fault in situations like this and help you obtain any compensation you may be entitled to. Contact experienced, amusement park injury attorney Jeffrey Killino today.