Stay safe while seeking theme park thrills

While amusement park accidents are rare, there are some things you can do to stay safe during your visit.

With a local theme park making its much-anticipated reopening this summer, you can bet thousands of families will be flocking there seeking thrills. While amusement park accidents are rare, there are some things you can do to stay safe during your visit.

Stay cool. Stuffed animals and indigestion aren’t the most common things people leave with — it’s sunburns and dehydration. Pack plenty of sunscreen and re-apply it throughout the day. Wear a hat, moisture-wicking clothing and protective, comfortable shoes. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Don’t load up on sugary drinks. Water is the best way to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Know your health before you visit. Read each ride’s restrictions before you get in line. If you are pregnant, have back or neck pain or a heart condition (especially high blood pressure), you will not be able to go on some rides. If you haven’t been to the doctor for a checkup in the past year, do so before making plans to visit a theme park. Many park incidents happen as the result of undiagnosed medical conditions.

Keep your body where it’s supposed to be. Regardless of the type of ride, remain seated at all times, and keep your hands on the grab bar and your legs inside the car. On rides with a lap bar, seat belt or safety harness, make sure it is in place, snug and locked.  Safety restraints are there for a reason — don’t fool around with them. If you’re unsure if a restraint is on correctly or if the ride starts to move before your restraint is in place, immediately yell for help.

Know how to ride a coaster. Some rides, especially roller coasters, can whip your head around, leaving you at risk for head or neck injuries. Sit in the middle of the chair, don’t slouch or lean to one side and stay relaxed. You want to ride the seat — not have it throw you around. If you are prone to headaches, have neck or back issues, or have been diagnosed with an aneurysm, stay away from roller coaster rides.


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