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Theme Park Fun!

Aug 2, 2012 | Home & Community Safety, News, Older, Youth Safety

Almost all theme park accidents can be prevented. Here are some tips to help you and your family stay safe on your next visit.

Stay Cool, and Don’t Get Burned

Heat causes more pain and injury at theme parks than all the world’s roller coasters combined. Visitors suffer from sunburn, rashes, heat exhaustion and heatstroke than all other injuries put together.

Water is your best friend in helping prevent heat-related illnesses in theme parks. Chugging water in the park won’t help as much as getting well hydrated two to three days before your trip. Many people make the mistake of saying, “I’ll drink plenty of water while I’m at the park.”

Choose water over juice and soft drinks whenever you get thirsty, and don’t drink alcohol until you are done with rides for the day. (Alcohol dehydrates you, leaving you at risk for sunstroke and heat exhaustion. It also impairs your judgment, putting you at greater risk for injury on rides.)

Follow Instructions

Know what ride you’re going on, and read the boarding restrictions before you get in line. If you are pregnant, have pain or injuries in your back or neck, or have a heart condition, you will not be able to go on some rides. If you can’t find the boarding restrictions at a particular ride, or have any questions about them, find a park employee and ask. Some parks make special seats available on select rides for larger visitors. Ask.

Don’t “cheat” and ignore these rules to get on rides where you don’t belong. You might think a ride looks tame enough for you. But sometimes there are potential problems on a ride that most visitors can’t see – a hidden drop or tum, a sudden stop, or a portable ladder that riders will have to descend if the ride shuts down. Don’t think that you know more about a ride than the park does. If they tell you not to ride, don’t.

Don’t even think about cutting in line. Nothing provokes more fights and nasty exchanges in theme parks than impatient folk who won’t wait their tum. If you happen to witness line jumping, report it to the nearest employee at the ride or a security officer.

Stay In to Stay Safe

On any theme park ride, keep your rear on the seat, your hands on the grab bar and your feet and knees inside the car. Be sure to tie up long hair and remove any loose articles (sunglasses, hats, jewelry) that have the potential to fall off during the ride.

Use all safety equipment which the ride offers and remember to always listen to the attendant.

If there is no grab bar, keep your hands on your lap. If you are riding a “floorless” coaster, relax your legs and let them dangle underneath you. Don’t kick them out to the side or front.

If you are on a ride with a lap bar, seat belt or safety harness, make sure that it is in place, snug and locked. If the ride starts to move and your restraint is not in place, immediately yell for help.

Do not get on or off a ride until you’ve been given the okay by an attendant to do so.

Unfortunately, some theme parks have cut comers on safety, and staff no longer load and unload positions on rides. If that is the case, wait until a vehicle comes to a still, complete stop before you try to get on or offDon’t crowd others who might be exiting when you are getting on.

Also, make sure that your vehicle has stopped next to the unload platform before you get off. Often, vehicles stop short of the unload platform to wait for groups up ahead to exit.

Alert Staff About Problems

If you see something possibly dangerous, like an unusually bumpy wheel, broken restraint, or anything else that could impair or jeopardize the safety of a park guest or staff member, alert them immediately. Better safe than sorry.

Also, if you see someone behaving in a manner that could jeopardize safety, like playing with operator boards when they are looking away or acting rambunctious on a ride, say something to the attendant. If you see anything illegal, it’s also a good idea to tell a security officer.

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For more information, please contact:
Communications/Media Program Coordinator
(613) 739-1535 (ext. 228)