Few things excite children as much as fairs and amusement parks do. These large, festive venues are designed to delight every single sense. Tragically, they are not always the safest places for children's imaginations to run wild. According to a recently released study, amusement park and fair visits inspire the kinds of accidents that have injured children at higher rates than parents might imagine.
The study was conducted by experts employed at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus. Researchers examined both the rate of injury to children associated with these venues and the kinds of injuries children sustained at them between 1990 and 2010. Over this 20 year period, nearly 93,000 American children received emergency medical care for injuries caused by amusement park rides alone. An untold additional number required non-emergent care for similar injuries.
It is important to note that seven out of 10 injuries requiring emergency care occurred during the warm months of May through September in any given year. This means that children visiting these parks currently are at the highest risk of sustaining injury.
Researchers determined that one of the primary reasons kids are in such unique danger at these parks is that not all rides were designed with them in mind. Even when children meet height requirements, their heads and necks are not always supported in safe ways. As a result, kids sustain more injuries to the neck and head than any other body parts. Parents, if your child's head and neck seem to rest at a vulnerable spot on a ride this summer, please consider taking him or her off of it.