They don’t look dangerous, but Crystal Malone’s daughter Destiny got on an amusement ride and found out just how scary the rides 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,” explained Malone.
Destiny suffered a broken arm, and she’s not alone. In a first of a kind study, 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,” said 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,” said Mehan.
Almost three-fourths of the mall-ride injuries occurred when a child fell in, on, off, or against a ride.
“They fall head first and are getting head and neck trauma, often concussions,” Mehan,explained.
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.