For a day of family summer fun, you almost can’t beat a good amusement park. Here in the U.S., amusement parks are big business, with more than 400 parks hosting about 375 million guests each year, according to the IAAPA. At the same time, unfortunately, injuries and illness are also quite common at the parks, ranging from thrill ride mishaps to heat stroke. In fact, CNN says emergency rooms across America saw 30,000 park-related visits in 2016 alone. If you plan to take the family to an amusement park this summer, take heed of these 5 important tips to keep everyone safe and happy.
- Wear sunscreen and reapply it often.
When you’re having fun, it’s easy to lose track of how long you’ve been standing or walking in the sun. You can start burning in as soon as 20 minutes. Before you step out, apply a high-SPF sunscreen to the kids and yourselves, and reapply it every couple of hours you spend outside.
- Stay hydrated.
Dehydration is a common malady in the parks; it’s also quite preventable. Take a moment between rides to grab a bottle of water for each family member; repeat throughout the day. If you drink alcohol, alternate with water to avoid dehydration.
- Follow the park rules.
Park rules are in place for a reason; if you break them, you assume a risk of injury. If the kids aren’t big enough to get on certain rides, don’t try to sneak them on. Heed warnings about rides that aren’t safe for people with high blood pressure or heart issues. Stay out of unauthorized areas and always wear safety harnesses.
- Dress simply.
Baggy clothes, long jewelry and dangly accessories can get caught in ride machinery. Save those articles for another time; dress appropriately for the park.
- Know the signs of illness or injury.
Be aware of yourself and your children while enjoying the park. Sudden headaches, dizziness, vomiting or numbness may be signals of several different types of health issues. If a family member starts experiencing symptoms, stop and seek medical assistance. Ignoring the symptoms could lead to serious or life-threatening conditions.