Roller Coaster Season is Coming: How to Keep Your Children Safe on Amusement Park and Carnival Rides This Summer

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Texas Personal Injury Attorneys Tony Denena and Chad Points Share Ride Safety Tips For Parents

Houston injury lawyers

Danger in the Park: Your Guide to Keeping Your Kids Safe on a Roller Coaster

Think back to how many of your friends had summer jobs at the local amusement park. Not much has changed....which can sometimes lead to injuries as a result of employees not paying attention or properly doing their jobs.

Summer is almost here, which means parents are planning and budgeting for trips to amusement parks, kids are looking forward to bragging to their friends about riding the fastest, highest, and scariest roller coast rides, and families everywhere are looking forward to their annual trip to the local carnival when it comes to town.

Almost everyone loves the thrill of a roller coaster or carnival ride, but along with the summer fun comes the responsibility as parents to do everything possible to avoid potential injuries to children.

An average of 20 children per day are treated for amusement ride injuries between May and September, according to a recent study conducted by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The report showed that a total of 92,885 children had been treated for an amusement park-related ride between 1990 and 2010, which is an average of 4,423 injuries sustained by children on an amusement park or carnival ride per year.

While many parents assume that amusement park, carnival, and local mall rides are strictly-regulated, supervised, and monitored, these shocking numbers are likely to raise the awareness of parents that they may want to take some additional steps to assure their children's safety this summer as roller coaster season is steadily approaching.

The most common injury that children suffer at amusement parks and carnivals are to the head and/or neck, which unfortunately can be serious and, potentially, catastrophic. This is usually as a result of falling off of, on top of, or against a ride while or after it is moving. Children have also commonly been injured by hitting a body part on part of the ride, or by something hitting them while on the ride, and by catching a body part or piece of clothing on part of the ride while it's moving. While this sometimes results in less serious injuries such as bumps and bruises or cuts and scrapes, there have also been instances when a child has suffered more serious injuries, such as a fracture (which occurred in 10% of the injuries that were found while conducting the study) as a result of an amusement park, carnival, or mall ride accident.

So what steps can parents follow over the next few months to assure that their children don't sustain a ride-related injury during their fun-filled family trip this summer?

“One of the most obvious, and important, steps that parents can take to make sure their children stay safe when it comes to amusement park and carnival rides is to read the rules posted at the park or carnival, and to make sure their children follow them” says Chad Points, a Texas personal injury attorney and partner at Denena and Points, P.C, a Houston-based law firm who has represented a number of victims of amusement park and local carnival injuries in the past.

“Recently we resolved a case for a young boy who was seriously injured when the auto belay safety system used on a rock climbing wall failed, allowing him to plummet to the ground from 25 feet up,” says Tony Denena, the other founding shareholder of Denena and Points, P.C. and father of three. “The boy was injured because the owner of the rock climbing wall had neglected to maintain the most important part of the attraction, the safety system.”

“It's also important to conduct some research into the amusement park that you're planning on visiting,” says Points.

Tony and Chad, in addition to both being proud parents, are both board certified in personal injury law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Both have been named as Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters company, and both are surprised and sometimes appalled at the negligence of workers at local amusement parks and carnival rides that have resulted in serious injuries.

“You can search on Google, Google News, Yelp, and other websites which offer local reviews to find out if amusement parks or mall rides have had any instances in the past, such as an employee not properly making sure the lap bar was locked into place, or weren't paying attention while on duty” says Denena, “but with carnivals it can be a little more difficult to research because they travel from town to town.”

Freak accidents do occur, such as when a ride malfunctions and causes a serious or sometimes fatal injury, but sometimes the negligence of an employee at the amusement park or mall ride can be to blame as well. Whether it's a maintenance worker not performing the necessary routine maintenance or checks on a ride, or the operator of a ride not properly checking the safety equipment, Denena explains that injuries sustained as a result of employee negligence are more common than people think.

“Think back to when you were in high school or college, how many of your friends had summer jobs at the local amusement park. Not much has changed, the majority of people who operate amusement park, mall, and carnival rides are usually seasonal employees who take summer jobs while still in college, which can sometimes lead to injuries as a result of the employees not paying attention or properly doing their jobs.”

Chad Points says parents can take a few additional steps this summer to assure that their children stay safe during the roller coaster season, including:

-Making sure their children do not horseplay before, during, and after a ride

-Making sure children do not reach their arms, legs, or other body parts out of the ride while it's moving

-Making sure children don't wear baggy clothes, or attempt to get on a ride which they are too short for based on the posted height regulations

While Summer is a time for kids to let loose and relax after a hard year of schoolwork, homework, and set bed times, parents need to remain vigilant about their safety. There is no worse way to spend your summer, than in bed recuperating from a preventable injury.

Denena and Points, P.C. is made up of a houston personal injury attorneys who have handled multiple types of carnival and amusement park cases to successful resolution. They pride themselves on efficient, yet aggressive, prosecution of its cases. Over the years, they have developed a free Carnival Safety Guide for parents so that parents can make sure their kids will be safer this summer when going to local carnivals and amusement parks.

For answers to specific questions about carnival safety, call Denena and Points, P.C. at 877.307.9500.

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