Allentown
72° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy

Life Lessons: Amusement park dangers

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 16 2013 04:00:00 AM CDT

Life lessons amusement park dangers

You've ridden them at the county fair and at festivals, but did you know a child is rushed to the emergency room every hour in the U.S. for injuries suffered on amusement rides?

A first of a kind study reveals what every parent should know.

They don't look dangerous, but Crystal Malone's daughter Destiny got on a ride like this one and found out just how scary they can be!

"She had reached back to high five one of her nieces, and as she was bringing it back, the wrist part got caught in the corners of the ride," explains Crystal Malone, Destiny's mother.

Destiny suffered a broken arm, and she's not alone.

Researchers at the Center for Injury Research found more than 92,000 kids were hurt bad enough on a ride to need hospital care. That's an average of more than 4,400 kids a year.

"The most surprising part of this study is the large amount of injuries from the mall, restaurant, store, arcade-related rides," says Tracy Mehan, MA, from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

"We found that a child was treated in an emergency department every day in the United States from one of these rides."

Although the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has jurisdiction over rides that are put up and taken down for fairs and festivals, the regulation of fixed-site rides like those in the mall or grocery store are left to the state or local governments.

"We would like to see a national standard set so that we could really look at the injury problem that's happening across the United States and so that there's better enforcement of the standards," Mehan says.

Almost three-fourths of the mall-ride injuries occurred when a child fell in, on, off, or against a ride.

Mehan explains, "They fall head first and are getting head and neck trauma, often concussions."

So what can parents do?

Always follow all posted height, age, weight, and health restrictions.

Make sure to follow any special seating order, always use seat belts and safety bars, and avoid mall rides if they are over a hard, unpadded surface.