Injuries from amusement rides have sent 93,000 children to emergency rooms between 1990 and 2010, say researchers with the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. And at least 11,000 of those injuries were from small, coin-operated rides most often occurring in children ages 5 and younger.
“I didn’t expect that number of injuries to be due to mall rides,” said researcher Dr. Gary Smith. “This problem isn’t on the radar screen.”
For the study, researchers examined data from about 100 emergency rooms across the country singling out cases of injuries caused by roller coasters, bumper cars, merry-go-rounds, log flumes, alpine slides, mechanical bulls, mini-trains and coin-operated rides. The study did not collect data from “non-ride” products such as bouncy houses, go-carts, bungee-type rides and ball pits.
For the most part, amusement-ride injuries were not serious, with only 1.5 percent of the cases requiring hospitalization or observation. The most common injuries were caused by children falling in, off or against a ride, and the most common injuries involved the neck or head. And compared to playground injuries, amusement ride injuries are far less common.
Nonetheless, researchers say that parents should be cautious, especially when it comes to younger children who have proportionately larger heads and thus a higher center of gravity that can throw off their balance easier. And, if possible, smaller, coin-operated rides should be avoided all together as they are even more dangerous than amusement park rides.
Source: Health News Daily