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How to Stay Safe When Visiting Amusement Parks

Updated on March 3, 2010
safety at amsusement parks, seemann, morguefile.com
safety at amsusement parks, seemann, morguefile.com

Heading to an amusement park is something that most people and children associate with feelings of happiness and joy, yet it is unfortunate that sometimes theme parks become areas where injuries and even tragic happenings may take place. The most recent killer whale attack taking place at Sea World in Orlando on February 24th costing the life of trainer Dawn Brancheau, may be a testimony of how tragedy may strike even in the happiest places on earth. 

From sprains, broken bones and head concussions, to even fatal accidents, amusement park mishaps often seem to make the headlines on the news. Yet, many times these accidents could have been prevented if only park visitors used a bit of caution and common sense. Knowledge is ultimately power, and if you act wisely and take good care to watch yourself by practicing some extra caution, your trip to the theme park may be uneventful allowing you to bring home only great memories about the rides and cheery characters. Following are some tips on how to make your trip to the park one of the merriest events of your life.

How to Avoid Accidents at Amusement Parks

Plan Ahead

Reading a map at an amusement park often translates into bumping into an unseen pole, walking into a hole or crossing an area where trains may pass. Planning ahead may be helpful and save you time. Look at the maps and the attractions you want to visit. Most maps of amusement parks can be found online. Organize your day by choosing before hand which rides interest you and where you plan to eat. This will avoid you from wasting time looking for a certain place or walking back and forth or in a zig-zag manner. Have a good night sleep and a light breakfast. Bring all your essentials without carrying too much. Don't forget sunscreen, bottles of water, cell phones and maps.

Watch your Steps

It happens more often than you think: you are looking up in the air at people screaming at the top of their lungs on rides, and then you stumble on a stroller and sprain your ankle. There are lots of distractions at amusements parks: the rides, loud music, kids tugging at your shirt, people pushing and so on, It is difficult to stay focused and often large crowds block the view of where you are walking. Tell your children to not run and try to keep an eye on where you are walking. Spilled ice cream, people stopping abruptly and unseen poles and strollers may all cause collisions and ultimately falls.

Stay Cool and Hydrated

Most people decide to visit amusement parks when the weather is pleasant. This also means exposure to harmful sun rays for many hours a day. Because most people are distracted at theme parks focusing on having fun, they often forget to drink enough and apply their sun screen. This often translates into many cases of heat stroke, dehydration and sun burn. Always drink lots of fluids and stay away from carbonated, caffeine rich drinks and alcohol. Sun screen should be water proof since many times people are continuously splashed by water rides. Try to wear a nice hat, loose, light colored clothing and comfortable shoes.

Prevent your Child From Getting Lost

Each year, a large amount of children get lost at amusement parks. The crowds, distractions, loud noises and over all confusion create the ideal recipe for missing children. Fortunately, amusement parks are used to this and have worked out solutions. Lost children stations are set in amusement parks where lost children and parents are re-united. Prevent your child from getting lost by resorting to some helpful strategies such as using a harness if your child is a toddler, investing in a GPS child locater or two way radios, or having your child wear bright colored clothing. Taking a picture of your child at the park entrance will be a nice souvenir but will also be helpful to show to security in case your child goes amiss.

Be Aware of Restrictions

If rides have caution notes displayed on a sign before entering, read them. If you are not sure about something, do not take your chances. If a ride has a note that you should go ahead if you are pregnant or suffer from a heart condition, do not under estimate those notes. There are there for a reason. Also, never your let your child hop on a ride when he does not meet the height requirements. Doing so is asking for trouble. Tell your children to follow the rules and keep their hands inside the ride, warn them not get on and off the rides until they are told to do so, and also recommend them to avoid restricted areas.

Locate the First Aid Stations

All amusement parks should have some area or areas designated for first aid. Knowing beforehand where these stations are located is a big plus should an emergency arise. From small boo boos to larger scrapes these first aid places may treat them all. Qualified staff (registered nurses) are on premises all the time to help out in these small emergencies. First aid officers may be called by park employees for bigger incidents.


Amusement parks can indeed be the happiest places on earth. You can just feel the thrill of  such places by watching people riding roller coasters or  simply admiring the smile of a child who meets his favorite character for the first time. Spending time at an amusement park does not happen every day, so try to make the best out of it, by practicing caution and assuring you only bring home great memories spent at these magical places. 

Aids to Keep Your Child Close by

Mommy I'm Here cl-103br Child Locator, Brown
Mommy I'm Here cl-103br Child Locator, Brown

Keep relaxed and aware of your child's whereabouts with the Mommy I'm Here Child Locator, a small two-unit wireless device. The cute, brown, teddy-bear-shaped unit mounts easily to a child's shoe or belt. Ideal in public environments such as malls, the unit communicates with a keychain transmitter you keep on hand. Whenever you notice that a child has wandered too far, you simply press the button on the keychain and the teddy bear receiver produces an audible alert that's easy to track.

 

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    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Very unique topic and a good article, I have great memories of our yearly town fair, we had such fun. Now, it seems like I never see them around as much. Thanks for sharing this fine article with us.

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