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Just how safe are amusement parks?

If you and your family have plans to spend some time this summer at one of California's many amusement parks, you may not give much though to whether your child will be safe while there. Most people figure that amusements must be highly regulated and are therefore inherently safe, but regrettably, this is not always the case.

According to CNN, visitors to American amusement parks experience tens of thousands of injuries every year, with 30,000 emergency room visits linked to amusement park injuries in 2016 alone. The number of amusement park ride-related injuries has also climbed in recent years, with more than 1,500 ride-related injuries reported in 2015 alone. However, some safety advocates believe amusement park accidents and injuries may go unreported, and that the actual figures associated with park accidents, and ride-specific park accidents, are likely much higher.

Why are amusement parks such hotbeds for injuries? Much of the problem likely has to do with a lack of industry oversight and inconsistency when it comes to park safety regulations. Because there is no national, governing body in charge of safety at fixed-site amusement parks, regulation often happens at the state level, if at all. Amusements at carnivals and other mobile attractions also pose risks, as workers erect and take down these amusements frequently, increasing the odds of erection errors.

If you and your family still plan to visit an amusement park this year, take precautions to ensure everyone has a good, safe time. In addition to following all posted safety regulations and ensuring your kids do the same, trust your gut. If you get a bad feeling about a particular ride or park, avoid taking unnecessary risks. An amusement park injury can quickly turn a fun day with the family into a total nightmare.

This information about amusement park accidents is informative in nature and does not constitute legal advice.

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