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Study Shows Danger of Amusement Rides to Children

As summer quickly approaches, seasonal fairs and amusement parks increase in popularity. However, before taking your children to these rides, first educate yourself on the risks. About 4,423 children under the age of 18 are injured each year from amusement rides and more than 70% of the injuries occur from May to September. These statistics were released earlier this week from a study by the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, which reviewed the risks of amusement rides to children.

The study, released in Clinical Pediatrics, reviewed where injuries were most common. Soft tissue injuries accounted for about 29% of amusement ride injuries and 28% of injuries involved the head and neck area. Most injuries are sustained due to falls or by hitting a body part against or on a ride. One third of injuries happen on rides in fixed locations such as amusement parks but carnival type and mall rides closely followed.

Mall rides had the most predictable type of injury. Most children injured on mall rides involve falls while getting on or off of the ride sustaining head and neck injuries. One child is treated in the emergency room every day from injuries sustained in a ride located at a shopping mall, restaurant, or arcade. Many of these injuries occur because the rides are often placed over a hard floor and lack proper safety barriers.

Some pointers for improving safety when enjoying amusement rides include following posted restrictions on factors such as height and weight; and following other safety instructions. Avoiding mall rides that are not on padded surfaces or that lack restraint equipment is also a good idea.

Source: New study examines injuries to children related to amusement rides, News Medical, (May 2, 2013).

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