If you know our team from Potter Burnett Law, then you know that we take pride in giving back to our communities and doing everything we can to help keep our friends and neighbors safe and sound. With summer coming up soon, many people in Maryland will start to plan trips to local amusement parks, such as Six Flags America, Trimper Rides of Ocean City, and Adventure Park USA. We want to help make sure that everybody has a fun, safe time at the park or parks of their choice this summer, so we have compiled a quick list of must-know amusement park safety tips that every parkgoer can use.
5 Important Amusement Park Safety Tips
- Follow all instructions: The easiest way to improve your safety while at an amusement park is to listen to all instructions, which include posted and spoken information. Pay attention to signs that tell you how to queue in line, get onto rides, secure your seat, and walk around the park. You need to especially pay attention to any sign that tells you to stay out of a certain or fenced-off area because those areas could have extreme risks of severe injury or death if entered. When boarding and departing a ride, listen to the instructions of the trained ride operators. If they say that you cannot go on a ride for whatever reason, then you must respect that decision, depart, and wait for your friends and family in the designated waiting area.
- Secure all items: While you are seated on a ride, make sure that you keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, and secure all items you have on you. A distinctly modern trend at theme parks has emerged: recording using a smartphone while the ride is in motion. Although this might seem like a fun way to share the experience with others who couldn’t make it on your trip, it can actually be quite dangerous. If you lose grip of your phone on a fast ride, then it could fall and strike another rider or guest. In a worst-case scenario, it could damage the ride and lessen its structural integrity. Whenever you are on a ride, you must keep all items secured as instructed by the ride operators.
- Stay hydrated: One of the biggest health hazards of a day at an amusement park is not directly related to the amusement park itself: dehydration. In the excitement and hustle of a theme park day, many people forget to drink water regularly, and others even forget to eat enough calories. Make a simple plan for your family to follow regarding hydration and meal breaks. For example, you can have everyone take a drink of water before and after going on each ride. Once an hour, take a longer break to sit down and quench your thirst while enjoying some snacks. Dehydration can cause serious complications if it is unaddressed for a few hours. On a bright sunny day, it can take as little as 30 or 60 minutes for the first signs of mild dehydration to begin.
- Apply sunscreen often: Speaking of bright sunny days, be mindful of your sun exposure while walking around a theme park, especially in the summertime. Sunburns can form quickly and will worsen your dehydration. You should bring enough sunscreen for your entire group to use throughout the day. Applying sunblock once before entering the park is usually not enough. Instead, you have to keep reapplying sunscreen. Take a quick sunscreen reapplication break once every 2 to 3 hours, or whenever you exit a water ride that might have splashed off some of your sun protection.
- Decide a meeting spot: Upon entering an amusement park, you should go to the nearest information stand and get maps of the park, one for each person in your party. Step to the side for a group huddle. Using the maps, pick an easy-to-remember location that will become your meeting spot in case anyone gets separated or lost and cannot reach the others using their cellphone. Please consider your child’s age when creating a meetup plan. Some children will be too young to remember the plan and know how to safely get to the meeting spot alone, so it might be more important to instruct them on how to identify a trusted adult like a park staff member and ask them for help if they get lost.
From all of us at Potter Burnett Law in Maryland, we hope you, your family, and your friends all have an amazing and safe summer, whether you go to an amusement park, the beach, or anywhere else fun is to be had! If you ever need to get in touch with an injury attorney after an accident at a park, please feel free to contact our firm at any time.