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Theme Park Safety Tips For Parents

Updated on October 3, 2012
jpcmc profile image

I'm a dad, husband, and Christian first. The rest is just life's add-ons: an educator, administrator, learning & development professional.

Disneyland Hong Kong
Disneyland Hong Kong | Source

If you mention Disneyland or any other theme park to children their faces will light up immediately. The prospect of spending time on every amusement ride is just overwhelming for children – and adults alike. The thrill starts at the mere mention of these places. The excitement builds up as the day draws nearer. More so on the day you take the kids to the theme park. In their minds, fun and entertainment awaits them. It’s an experience they will treasure forever. As a parent, are you ready to make this day truly special? Parenting does not stop at providing fun and entertainment for our little ones. In the background of this joyous day, what safety rules do you have in mind? If there are none, this is the time to sit back and contemplate about ensuring safety of your children in theme parks.

Is it really safe?

Although many theme park rides look death defying, they are actually safe. According to a 2010 report of the Fixed-Site Amusement Ride Injury Survey, the chances of being seriously injured at a fixed-site amusement park in the U.S. is 1 in 9 million. Every year, approximately 290 million patrons visit approximately 400 amusement parks in the U.S. In a year, theme park guests take 1.7 billion rides in amusement parks. According to the report only 5% of the 1,207 ride-related injuries required overnight stay in the hospital.

Having a 1 in 9 million chance of serious injury seems to be in your favor. But this should not put your guard down!

Disneyland rides around the world

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Alice In Wonderland at DisneylandBig Thunder RailroadAnother Big Thunder Mountain ride The Dumbo RideLong Line at Peter Pan Ride, Disneyland Paris
Alice In Wonderland at Disneyland
Alice In Wonderland at Disneyland | Source
Big Thunder Railroad
Big Thunder Railroad | Source
Another Big Thunder Mountain ride
Another Big Thunder Mountain ride | Source
The Dumbo Ride
The Dumbo Ride | Source
Long Line at Peter Pan Ride, Disneyland Paris
Long Line at Peter Pan Ride, Disneyland Paris | Source

Amusement ride safety guidelines

The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) came up with amusement ride safety guidelines for theme park visitors. These set of safety rules are posted in different areas of the theme park and is usually highlighted near the amusement ride entrance gate.

Of course the rules may differ from one theme park to another. However, here a general idea what these rules are:

  1. Parks don’t discriminate but they do have restrictions when it comes to age, height, weight and even medical health conditions.
  2. Park safety rules are not merely suggestions. Guests are expected to follow them.
  3. Your extremities are valuable to you today and in the future, keep them inside the ride
  4. Remain seated (or however you are strapped on) throughout the ride until you are told to disembark
  5. Safety equipment is meant to protect you so use it properly.
  6. Children should be able to understand safety rules and exhibit proper behavior during rides.
  7. Never force children or adults to ride if they do not want.
  8. All unsafe conditions and behaviors must be reported immediately.

An amusement ride becomes safer when park visitors follow these basic guidelines.

More parent safety tips

Sure, there are theme park rules and guidelines to follow. But remember that every family is different – every child is different. Setting your own rules will ensure you give a fun and entertaining day for everyone.

  • Set rules and expectations – talk to them the dos and don’ts way before going to the park. Remind them about these rules and expectations.
  • Have a fun plan – everyone wants to have fun so plot your day’s activities so everyone get to do what they want.
  • Buddy system – ideally have an adult supervising a manageable number of children.
  • Meeting places and meeting times – designate meeting places.
  • Remind them what to do in case of emergencies – e.g. getting lost, accidents, and strangers

Obviously you don’t want to suck out all the fun with the rules and limitations. But do make sure they understand these safety guidelines.

Safety in theme parks is made easier when parents take point in setting rules. Enforcing these rules is also an integral part of the fun.


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    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi Ryan,

      I've been to Enchanted Kingdom. It's a nice theme park and the rides are fairly OK. But I've seen what you describe. But the last time I went there the guests are more disciplined and the park attendants consistently guide the guest.

    • profile image

      Ryan 5 years ago

      There is a theme park in Sta Rosa, Laguna Philippines called Enchanted Kingdom. It's sort of the Disney Land here in the Philippines. But of course it does not compare to the whole magical world of Disney. Anyway, I've seen the improvement in implementing rules and policies. But it's the park guests that causes more of the problem. They just don't follow the rules. even the simple task of falling in line seems to be a difficult task for them to follow.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi Nell Rose,

      Amusement park rides have specific weight and height requirements for safety purposes. Unfortunately many parents do not realize the impact of these two requirements and insist that their children ride. So one side of the problem are the parents who lack the sense to follow rules and the other is park attendant who are lax in implementing the rules.

      Thanks for sharing and the vote up Nell. See you around.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      I remember down my town when they had a fair, the rockets got stuck with the children inside, it was a nightmare! luckily because of the rules the children were the right height etc so they didn't fall out! thank goodness for that! great info, and voted up! nell

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi there Rosemay50,

      I know how it feels not being able to ride rides. Now that I have my own child, I get to understand the rules imposed by my parents. It's a matter of properly explaining to them why these rules are important. But knowing children, they won't easily accept it.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Very useful tips. Children often dont realise that rules are made for their safety. My daughter used to get so disheratened because she couldn't go on the bigger rides with her older brother because she was too small or too light.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello there MargaritaEden,

      I do hope these tips help you have a safe and fun filled trip. Share us your experiences after you visited the parks.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi crissytsu,

      When i was a kid I had the habit of getting lost as well. It's never a pretty experience especially for a kid. It's always best to teach children what to do in case this happens. Moreover, parents should make sure that it does not happen.

      Thanks for sharing and the kind words about the hub. The vote up is also appreciated. See you around.

    • MargaritaEden profile image

      MargaritaEden 5 years ago from Oregon

      We planning on going to one of those parks, very useful tips, thanks!

    • crissytsu profile image

      crissytsu 5 years ago from Texas

      Great info...When I was 8 I was visiting Six Flags with my mom in the park but was allowed to ride the rides with my older cousins. I turned around for one minute and they were gone. I had spend the next 4 hours in the "Lost Kids Caboose"(because I was taught if I got lost to find a worker and ask to page my mom--which they couldn't do so they directed me there) until my cousins found my mom and reported that I'd gone missing. The staff told her to check there for me there. As a kid I was bummed because half the day was ruined and I couldn't ride as many rides...but in the end I'm glad I was safe. Nice hub. Voted up.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello girishpuri,

      Rules help give order and set expectations. They should be clearly communicated and properly enforced. Of course without sounding life it's martial law. :) Thanks for your inputs. I appreciate the positive vote as well. See you round.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 5 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      I agree, parents must take part in setting rules, voted useful.