4,400 Children Hurt On Amusement Rides Yearly

Around 4,400 children are hurt on amusement rides every year, according to reports. The data was collected as part of research for the Center for Injury Research and Policy. The study was conducted by Dr. Gary A. Smith of Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

The vast majority of amusement ride injuries are minor. Bruises and minor cuts are the most common injuries, but around 70 children are seriously hurt ever year.

As reported by NBC News, the more serious injuries require hospitalization. Injuries occurring over a 20 year period were evaluated using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which collects data from close to 100 hospitals nationwide.

The 4,400 children are injured on amusement rides, but not necessarily in amusement parks. Many injuries happen on traveling carnival rides, and coin-operated rides in grocery stores and malls.

Dr. Smith’s research revealed that, during peak season, nearly 20 children per day are injured on amusement rides. Smith hopes that his study will raise awareness about amusement ride safety.

Statistically, being hurt on an amusement ride is quite rare. International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions spokesman, Colleen Mangone, suggests that the safest rides are located in fixed amusement parks.

She contends that there is only a 1 in 24 million chance of receiving an injury on an amusement park ride.

Smith’s study revealed that girls are more likely to be injured on an amusement ride than boys. Most of those injuries occur from falls while entering or exiting rides.

According to Smith’s research, the majority of amusement ride injuries occurred in fixed-location amusement parks, followed by traveling carnivals, and lastly, amusement rides in stores, malls, and arcades.

The website RideAccidents.com chronicles amusement ride injuries, stating that they are “the world’s most comprehensive source of amusement ride accident reports and related news.” Included is a list of fatal accidents occurring between 1972 and 1997.

While Smith’s study is informative and helpful, the Ride Accidents site is more graphic and detailed. Additionally, it includes injuries to adults.

With amusement park season nearing, Smith’s study is helpful for parents who do not want their children to be one of the 4,400 injured on amusement rides every year.

[Image via Flickr]

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