State Labor Department inspectors who enforce amusement park safety measures statewide provided these basic guidelines below for parents and parkgoers to follow in order to avoid injury.
Parents with children
• Don’t assume a ride is safe for children if you hold on to them.
• Parents should never ride go-carts or bumper cars with children on their laps.
• Observe age, height and weight restrictions.
• Talk to children so they know what to expect of a ride.
• If your child gets scared, ask, if possible, that the ride be stopped.
• If your child is afraid of the ride, it’s probably best not to put her or him on it.
• Not all rides are appropriate for all children, even if they meet the height requirements.
• Water rides require additional attention.
• Walk, don’t run, on pool decks and surroundings.
• On water slides, follow instructions and leave the pool area at the bottom quickly. Always slide feet first; sliding head first is a major cause of head and neck injuries.
• Use flotation devices when needed.
• Listen to the ride operator’s instructions.
• Read and follow posted warnings and instructions.
• Keep hands and feet inside the ride while it is moving.
• Don’t reach toward fences or barriers.
• Secure loose clothing and long hair.
• Don’t drink and ride.
• Don’t stand or attempt to leave a ride until it comes to a complete stop.
• Check restraining devices to make sure they are properly latched.
• Avoid horseplay.
• Never attempt to unlock or loosen a restraining device until instructed by the operator.
The Department of Labor’s park safety website – ridesafeny.com – offers parents and children tips on ride safety. The site also makes it simple to email the department to report unsafe conditions.