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How safe will your child be at the amusement park?

Summer is the time for many exciting activities, and for some thrill seekers and families in Pennsylvania, trips to their favorite amusement parks are highlights of the season. While your children might anticipate excitement and nothing else, it would be only natural for you as a parent to struggle not to think of the many theme park tragedies in the past. These parks are often not as safe as people would like to believe.

With every report of an accident at an amusement park, you might wonder how safe your local theme park really is. What is the level of oversight, and who is responsible for the safety of patrons?

Questions parents might have

While some might assume that all the rides at the park are safe, others do not even give it a second thought. Parents might want to know who inspects the rides at parks in their area and how often such inspections take place. Getting answers to the following questions will allow you to decide whether your child will be safe at the amusement park:

  • How frequent are adverse incidents? The Consumer Product Safety Commission says emergency rooms treat tens of thousands of theme park injury victims nationwide every year.
  • Who regulates amusement parks? These facilities come in two types — fixed-site parks and mobile carnivals — with mobile carnivals under federal regulations and fixed-site parks under local or state authority.
  • Do all states have the same safety standards? The fact is that the standards vary by state, and well-known parks such as Six Flags might even handle their own investigations after accidents.

How do lawmakers feel?

Medical professionals and lawmakers say there is a need for greater regulation of theme parks and amusement facilities. They believe that safety at amusement parks can improve if incident data collection is a coordinated federal effort. There is a definite indication that authorities would welcome more federal control.

What is the response of the industry?

Interested parties in the amusement park industry feel differently. They believe the state-based regulations are best. According to them, current safety layers include high design and mechanical standards along with the oversight of local governments and state regulators, private safety companies and insurance companies.

What can you do if your child suffers an injury?

If your young child or another loved one suffered injuries due to negligence at an amusement park, you would be entitled to pursue financial relief to help you cope with the unanticipated economic consequences of the accident. However, you would likely prefer to focus on your child's recovery at this time. Here is where the skills of experienced legal counsel come in. A Pennsylvania lawyer can take over the ensuing legalities of a premises liability and personal injury lawsuit while you care for your injured child.

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