Most theme park injuries happen at water parks. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) state that children frequently suffer head or spinal trauma, while adults typically injury an arm or leg. In all cases, riders are at risk of drowning after sustaining water park injuries. This information is important for Florida residents, especially with summer right around the corner.
The majority of theme park injuries occur at water parks. According to the National Institutes of Health, water park injuries
for children frequently involve spinal or head injuries. Water park injuries for adults typically involve injury to the body’s extremities, such as an arm or leg. In all cases, water park injuries place the rider at risk of drowning.
Water Park Accidents
When designing and constructing a new ride, engineers are careful to map-out various twists, turns, and forces endured by the rider. On water rides, it is especially important to calculate the velocity at which the rider will be moving. This means that the engineer must calculate the various directions the rider will be going and the speeds a person should anticipate, at any given point on the water ride.
Preventing Water Ride Injuries
To prevent water park injuries, a big part of these calculations are focused on the end of the water ride. The speed at which the rider exits the water slide can cause severe damage if the rider happens to hit something. Water park injuries have occurred when the rider hit his or her head on the edge of the slide, the bottom of the pool, or any other hard object located near the end of the water ride. A problem that leads to the high frequency of water park injuries is that each rider moves in slightly different ways. This is because the weight and proportions of each individual rider varies. An especially heavy rider will reach faster speeds than a lighter rider. Furthermore, if the rider carries most of his or her weight in a specific area of the body, that rider may be thrown in unanticipated directions on a water ride. To prevent water park injuries, an engineer must plan for this wide range of variables when designing the ride.
Types of Water Park Injuries
The person manning the top of a water slide is human and capable of error. The attendee merely makes an educated guess at the actual weight of each rider. It is easy for the attendee to underestimate or overestimate the weight, and potential speed, of a rider. This slight oversight can lead to several types of water park injuries, as in the following cases:
- Allowing a person that is too large or too heavy on water rides can cause unanticipated speeds for that rider. By moving too quickly, the rider is at great risk of injury, particularly at the exit of the water slide.
- Allowing a very large person to go down a water slide after a small person, or young child, can be tricky. If the attendee underestimates the large person’s weight, or overestimates the weight of the small child, the large person can progress down the water slide too quickly. This will result in the large rider overtaking the small rider on the slide.
- If the water ride involves an inflatable tube shared by several people, the water slide attendee has to estimate the weight of all of the riders combined. The increases the likelihood of errors. If the riders collectively weigh too much, the safety of the ride is compromised. The tube can move more quickly than expected, sometimes throwing riders off of the tube. In other cases, the tube itself may become deflated.
- In any situation where a rider is thrown from a tube or water slide, sustains a head injury, or is knocked unconscious, that rider is at risk of drowning. This is a type of risk that is unique to water park injuries.
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