Yesterday, we related some of the ways that parents can help ensure safety if they visit the California State Fair or some type of county fair. But that advice doesn’t begin to encompass the full scope of what safety should entail. A report from last year offering some vital safety tips from a Ryerson University professor would be worth revisiting as this year’s fair season gets into full swing.
First, make sure that you’re providing supervision to children that aren’t old enough to travel through the fair on their own. That doesn’t always mean just walking your child up to a ride’s entrance and then standing back to watch them; safety is at its utmost when you join your child on the ride. That way, if they get scared or otherwise attempt to extricate themselves from a safety harness, you can go into parent mode and prevent them from doing so.
When you accompany your child on a ride, you’re also able to point out safety dilemmas that a child might miss. A child may not pick up on the fact that a lap bar isn’t latching correctly, but you certainly can. When you identify such a potential hazard, it’s imperative that you inform the ride operator at once, before he or she has a chance to start the ride. If they neglect to make a fix, get off the ride and track down guest relations to inform them of the safety slight.
By the same token, parents shouldn’t do anything that could circumvent the proper safety precautions. Many adults, for instance, will insist that their children are tall enough to ride a ride even if they’re a couple inches too short. They’ll tear into a ride operator who’s only trying to do their job.
Realize that heigh restrictions are in place for a reason. That level was deemed the minimum standard for safe riding, and putting your child on a ride before they meet the threshold puts them in danger. And if the operator gives you any special directives, such as keeping your arms and legs inside the ride vehicle or not standing up, adhere to those stipulations and make sure your kids are doing so too. Again, they’re in place for a reason.
Although frantic spinner rides and topsy turvy roller coasters may give parents pause, it’s important to understand that many injuries occur on such innocuous-seeming things as inflatable slides and bouncy castles. Kids may get overly excited when bunched into a group, thus engaging in dangerous jumps or activities that can cause a sprain. And if not properly anchored, such devices can prove even more dangerous. If your children insist on playing on inflatable items, make sure you keep an eye on the proceedings at all times.