Staying Safe On Amusement Rides

  1. Be Aware of the Safety Equipment Limitations   – Ride manufacturers provide seat belts, lap bars, and other safety equipment to reduce the risk of injury. Many safety devices used on children’s amusement rides aren’t designed to keep young children in their seats. Do not rely on lap bars and seat belts to restrain children. Solid metal lap bars only fit closely against the largest person in the car, many times leaving young children with room to slide around
  2. Tune into your kids   – Do not leave your kids to fend for themselves while you go and ride your favorite rides. If your kids are old enough to go on their own, stay in constant contact with them using cell phones or by meeting at designated place.
  3. Before getting on the ride talk to your child about the ride- If there are any warnings read them out loud to your child and then talk about each warning. Tell your child that even though the ride may stop, do not attempt to get off the ride until the ride attendant says it is safe to do so; explain to them that if the ride gets scary, they should not try to get off the ride no matter what; explain that amusement rides might seem scary, but they are safe as long as they stay seated, keep their hands and feet inside the ride, and hold on tight with both hands.
  4. Always follow the minimum height, age, weight, and health restrictions If your child does not meet the necessary requirements, do not try and sneak them in the ride, the requirements are there for a reason. Ride manufacturers’ restrictions are supposed to take into account the forces put forth by the ride and the intellectual maturity required to safely ride. If the child does not meet the ride requirements they may not be physically or developmentally able to stay safely seated on the ride. Ride manufacturers base their guidelines on developmental time lines and height/weight ratios of children in the 50th percentile. Basically, the bottom line is if you can’t count on your child to stay seated with hands and feet inside the ride then don’t let your child on the ride
  5. Don’t put children on rides that can scare them-  Most children who get scared try to run away. A class of 20 preschoolers was asked what they should do if they get scared while a ride is moving they answered “get off the ride”
  6. Follow any special instructions about the seating order or loading-  Spinning rides sometimes want that smaller rider to sit on the inside, which would be closest to the center pole, this is to avoid being squished by the bigger rider as the centrifugal force increases. For this reason, amusement ride attendant should place small children away from the open sides, for safety reasons
  7. Never put your child on your lap on a ride that has restraints or a ride that has twists-If your child is on your lap and the safety bar is on the child’s lap, that position could cause the bar or belt to put too much pressure on your child’s small body. If the ride doesn’t have restraints and the ride takes an unexpected twist or turn, your child could slip out of your hands and out of the ride.
  8. Stay cool, and don’t get burned-Visitors to amusement parks suffer from more sunburns, rashes, heat exhaustion and heatstroke than all other injuries put together. Stay hydrated and drink lots of water, remember that alcohol dehydrates you. Put on some waterproof sun block before you even go in, and remember to keep reapplying it throughout the day. Also, wear some comfortable shoes and a hat.
  9. Teach your kids what to do if they get separated from you– Have your child wear a physical ID at all times like an ID bracelet, a Velcro shoe tag or a personalized dog tag that has your cell number on it so that a security officer or park employee can call you and tell you where your child is. Play the “What if …” game with your children so they know to stop a security guard or park employee if they get lost or separated from you. Carry a photo ID of each of your children in your wallet. In case you get separated from your children, you will have a photo and description to help those who are looking for your child. Teach your child to drop to the ground and scream loudly, “He is not my daddy/mommy. HELP!” in case someone tries to take him or her. If you can afford it, think about a child locator or tracking device; these devices are getting cheaper every year and you can find them on the Internet by searching “child locator GPS”
  10. Know your limits   – If you get car sick when sitting in the back seat of a car, do not sit in the back seat of a ride, sit in the front or wait until you can sit in the front of the ride. If you have eaten a large meal or drank alcohol, you should think about waiting an hour before riding any rides with lots of twists or turns. 


Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC