WASHINGTON D.C. (WUSA9) -- Take a second glance at the flying saucer ride you are thinking about letting your child ride while at an amusement park.
A new study on amusement ride-related injuries in emergency rooms has found that from 1990-2010, 4,423 children each year were treated in the ER from these injuries. Study authors also found that the number of injuries spiked in summertime.
They were even able to pinpoint where these injuries occur. The Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital
examined the following: rides at amusement parks, fairs, festivals, restaurants and arcades.
Available online and in the print issue of Clinical Pediatrics
, it was found that,"32% were most likely to be sustained as the result of a fall, 18% by hitting a part of a body on a ride and being hit by something while riding."
But how can officials decrease the number of injuries?
Dr. Gary Smith, MD, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy of Nationwide Children's Hospital says, " Although the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has jurisdiction over mobile rides, regulation of fixed-site rides is currently left to state or local governments leading to fragmented system.
"A coordinated national system would help us prevent amusement ride-related injuries through better injury surveillance and more consistent enforcement of standards."
Dr. Smith also believes that injuries from smaller amusement rides are often overlooked since this is the first study to describe national rates of pediatric injury involving amusement rides.
Amusement ride safety tips:
- Always follow all posted height, age, weight and health restrictions.
- Make sure to follow any special seating order and/or loading instructions.
- Always use safety equipment such as seat belts and safety bars.
- Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.
- Know your child and whether or not he or she will follow the rules.
- Trust your instincts about whether or not the ride is safe.
- Avoid "mall rides" if they are over a hard, unpadded surface or if they don't have a child restraint such as a seat belt.