Every summer, countless Americans visit amusement parks. Some families drive south to Disney. Other parents do not venture so far, instead opting for local amusement parks. No matter which option you choose this year, know there are a number of safety rules you can follow to help keep your children safe.

Children on amusement park ridesSouth Carolina child injury lawyers are all too familiar with the harm caused by unsafe rides and reckless choices. And while it is our job to advocate on behalf of injured kids, I believe we also have a responsibility to offer as much free information as possible so that the number of amusement park injuries may be reduced. The following tips, adapted from safeparks.org, are therefore offered to you:

1. Watch the ride with your child before boarding.

Some rides do not look very scary standing still. Others start slow, and appear safe for even the most timid rider. Looks can be deceiving, however. Take time to watch a ride from start to finish with your child. Does the ride appear to function as it should? Do all the riders appear securely fastened? Are there children of similar size enjoying the ride? Are the other riders behaving?

Also observe the ride operator. Does the operator look like someone who should be in charge of heavy machinery and your child’s well being? If you hesitate answering “Yes” to either of these questions, then the answer to whether your child should be allowed on the ride is “No.”

2. Follow all height and weight restrictions.

When I was little, I was chubby. I did not have any problem meeting the weight requirements. Nonetheless, I was not tall enough to ride all the roller coasters until I got a little older. Height and weight restrictions are not in place to prevent fun. They are designed to keep children safe. When parents encourage ride operators to break the rules for their children, or kids sneak past an inattentive “carnie,” bad injuries can occur. The world is tough enough when we follow the rules – there is no need to make it anymore dangerous.

3. Reinforce the need to stay seated and keep hands/feet inside the ride.

I rarely listened to the operator’s safety instructions. I stood up in my seat. I stuck my hands and feet beyond the edge of the ride. Unlike many victims of amusement park tragedy, I escaped injury. While we cannot make children follow our every command, we can certainly give them clear instructions and take away privileges when our instructions are not followed. Many amusement park rides go around corners with walls on either side – hands and feet cannot be exposed. Whatever you must tell your children to get this point across, please say.

Columbia, SC child accident attorneys have the ability to guide families to justice after an amusement park injury. However, that is not our only job. I think we must also work to lessen the number of child injuries in South Carolina by providing families with tips and resources that help keep our young people safe – this article attempts to promote that goal.

Kenneth Berger
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Columbia and Myrtle Beach car accident and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.