The summer is coming to an end, school will start soon. Many Illinois families will be traveling to amusement parks for the last weekend of the summer. Families are going to these amusement parks for a day filled with fun, laughter and thrills. I always have concerns racing through my mind when I am at an Amusement Park. How safe are the rides? How much training and experience do the ride operators have? Are they distracted? Did this park have any accidents from negligence? Children account for 50 percent of those injured or killed in amusement park ride accidents. . This year in Chicago, a young child suffered a fatal head injury at an amusement park in Chicago, Illinois. The child was on a roller coaster called the Giant Python, at the Go Bananas Amusement Park in Chicago. The 3yr old boy somehow slid under the safety bar and fell out of the roller coaster. Several thoughts enter my head, as I heard this tragic news. Was the ride properly maintained? Was the child tall enough to be allowed on the ride? Was the ride operator negligent in assessing the child's height? Many questions are left unanswered.
Amusement park ride safety should be the number one priority for Amusement park owners and ride operators in Illinois. I did some research regarding statistics on amusement park accident statistics. This is what I found according to the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Over 8,000 individuals were injured on carnival or amusement park rides in 2008. That would be over 4,000 children. In a ten year period, over 50 deaths results from accidents on amusement park rides. Roller coasters (16 deaths) and whirling rides (11 deaths) had the highest number of fatalities. Children in the age category from 10 to 14 yrs. of age suffered the largest number of injuries of any age group.
As a Chicago child injury lawyer, I have extensive knowledge regarding the legal rights of amusement park injury victims. In the state of Illinois, Amusement Parks are regulated by the State Department of Labor under the laws pursuant to Carnival and Amusement Parks Safety Act. Amusement parks and carnivals are mandated by this law to submit an annual ride for inspection application. Amusement parks are required to provide proper documentation for each ride. They also are required to provide documentation for employees or operators of the ride. This documentation needs to include the training of the operator on each ride. You can access additional information pertaining to Illinois Laws and Regulations of Amusement Park Rides at the Official Website for the State of Illinois Department of Labor.
Amusement Parks need to adhere to strict compliance with the State laws and regulations. If they do not do so the safety of our children will be compromised. The tragic death or injury of a child as a direct result of the negligence of an amusement park, carnival, or theme park owner and operator can be very tragic for parents. Amusement park and theme park ride injuries are preventable.