Study: 4,500 Children Suffer Amusement Park Ride Injuries Each Year

Amusement parks offer fun and adventure for children of all ages. But unfortunately, for some it can also be a source of danger causing a variety of injuries.

In fact, the results of a new study from the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital found that over a 20 year period (1990 – 2010), nearly 93,000 children were treated in an emergency department for an injury related to an amusement park ride.

Every year in the United States, about 4,500 children sustain injuries from amusement park rides. Most injuries occur to the neck and head, followed by arms, face and legs.

Types of injuries: 

  • soft tissue (29 percent);
  • sprains/strains (21 percent);
  • lacerations (20 percent); and
  • fractures (10 percent).

The good news is that overall most injuries don’t require hospitalization. However, between May and September the researchers found that an amusement park injury requires hospitalization every three days. The type of accident most likely to cause serious injuries is falls, followed by getting struck by an object.

Common Causes of Amusement Park Ride Injuries and Fatalities

Some accidents may be the result of human behavior, such as: 

  • not following instructions (order of seating, loading/unloading);
  • failure to use safety equipment; and
  • not keeping body parts inside the ride.

But other accidents may be caused by negligence of the ride operator. For instance, not latching a harness or seatbelt correctly, or suddenly stopping a ride.

Injuries can also be caused by mechanical failures, such as malfunctioning tracks on a rollercoaster, detachment of ride, ineffective lap bar, structural defects and other problems. In these cases it could be that the manufacturer of the defective product or its parts is liable, along with the amusement park.

When a child has been seriously or fatally injured in an amusement park accident, victims and their families can contact an attorney. At Gacovino, Lake & Associates we can help evaluate and build a case against a liable party.

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