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New study from @nationwidekids tracks injuries to kids on amusement rides. Which pose risks to your child? bit.ly/14ST0Jr  
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Meet the Expert

Gary Smith, MD, DrPH


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Study: Amusement Rides Injure 4,400+ Kids A Year

Injuries higher on ‘fixed’ rides, experts call for consistent regulations

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) May 2013 – On average, a child is treated in an emergency department every other hour in the U.S. for injuries suffered on amusement rides, according to the first national study to examine those types of accidents in depth.

Researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital investigated amusement ride injuries from 1990 to 2010 and found that nearly 93,000 children were injured on rides that included everything from roller coasters at theme parks, to merry-go-rounds at county fairs to coin-operated rides at restaurants and shopping malls.

“There has been remarkably little published on the injuries occurring on these rides, and that’s why we did this study,” said senior author Gary Smith, MD, DrPH, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy of Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Smith says enforcement of safety standards can vary widely on amusement rides, depending on where they are located.  Mobile rides, like those at county fairs and carnivals, are regulated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal agency, but not rides found at places like amusement parks and shopping malls.

Because of that, “it becomes very difficult to effectively regulate and prevent these injuries or even know how many injuries are occurring,” said Dr. Smith.

To see who is injured most often and how, click on the video box to the left.  To read the entire press release, click the “click to read more” link below.

 

 

 

 

New Study Finds 20 Children a Day during the Summer are Treated in U.S. EmergencyDepartments for Amusement Ride-Related Injuries

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – A new study by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital examined injuries to children related to amusement rides, which included rides at amusement parks (fixed-site rides), rides at fairs and festivals (mobile rides) and rides found at local malls, stores, restaurants or arcades (mall rides).

Researchers found that from 1990 to 2010, 92,885 children under the age of 18 years were treated in United States emergency departments for amusement ride-related injuries for an average of 4,423 injuries each year. More than 70 percent of the injuries occurred during the warm summer months of May through September – equating to more than 20 injuries a day during these months.

The study, available online May 1, 2013 and in the May print issue of Clinical Pediatrics, found that the head and neck region was the most frequently injured (28 percent), followed by the arms (24 percent), face (18 percent) and legs (17 percent). Soft tissue injuries (29 percent) were the most common injury type followed by strains and sprains (21 percent), cuts (20 percent) and broken bones (10 percent). The overall percentage of injuries requiring hospitalization or observation was low, suggesting that serious injuries are relatively rare. However, during the summer months, May – September, there is an amusement ride-related injury that is serious enough to require hospitalization once every three days on average.  

Injuries were most likely to be sustained as the result of a fall (32 percent), or by either hitting a part of a body on a ride or being hit by something while riding (18 percent). Nearly one-third (33 percent) of injuries occurred on a fixed-site ride, followed by mobile rides (29 percent) and “mall” rides (12 percent).

“Although the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has jurisdiction over mobile rides, regulation of fixed-site rides is currently left to state or local governments leading to a fragmented system,” said the study’s senior author Gary Smith, MD, DrPH, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “A coordinated national system would help us prevent amusement ride-related injuries through better injury surveillance and more consistent enforcement of standards.”

The study also found that injuries associated with “mall rides” differed from fixed-site and mobile rides. They were more likely to be head/neck or face injuries, concussions/closed head injuries or cuts than were injuries associated with fixed site or mobile rides. Almost three-fourths of the “mall ride” injuries occurred when a child fell in, on, off or against the ride. These types of rides may be placed over hard surfaces and may not have child restraints, which contributes to the injury risk.

“Injuries from smaller amusement rides located in malls, stores, restaurants and arcades are typically given less attention by legal and public health professionals than injuries from larger amusement park rides, yet our study showed that in the U.S. a child is treated in an emergency department, on average, every day for an injury from an amusement ride located in a mall, store, restaurant or arcade,” said Dr. Smith, who is also a professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “We need to raise awareness of this issue and determine the best way to prevent injuries from these types of rides.”

Some tips for keeping safe on amusement rides include:

  • Always follow all posted height, age, weight and health restrictions. 
  • Make sure to follow any special seating order and/or loading instructions.
  • Always use safety equipment such as seat belts and safety bars.
  • Keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times.
  • Know your child. If you don’t think he/she will be able to follow the rules, keep him/her off the ride.
  • Trust your instincts. If you are worried about the safety of the ride, choose a different activity.
  • Avoid “mall rides” if they are over a hard, unpadded surface or if they don’t have a child restraint such as a seat belt. 

This is the first study to describe national rates of pediatric injury involving amusement rides treated in U.S. emergency departments. Data for this study were obtained from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), which is operated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The NEISS provides information on consumer product-related and sports and recreation-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments across the country.

The Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital works globally to reduce injury-related pediatric deaths and disabilities. With innovative research at its core, CIRP works to continually improve the scientific understanding of the epidemiology, biomechanics, prevention, acute treatment and rehabilitation of injuries. CIRP serves as a pioneer by translating cutting edge injury research into education, policy, and advances in clinical care. For related injury prevention materials or to learn more about CIRP, visit http://www.injurycenter.org.

 

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Images

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Nationwide Children's Hospital's Logo
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It is not only the biggest and fastest ones to blame
This smaller and slower ride are among many of its kind that are the cause for the large injury percentage. Falling seemed to be the biggest cause from these kinds of rides according to a new study from Nationwide Children's Hospital
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The safety signs are important
This ride information sign, like others, lists the safety regulations to ride the roller coaster. Researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital conclude in a new study the need to regulate these rides more consistently.
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New study finds large number in ride-related injuries
In a new study from Nationwide Children's Hospital, researchers find that 20 chidlren a day are treated in emergency departments for rides such as this one. More than 70% of these occur during the warm summer months.
/newmedia/mcp/osunch/2013/apr13/rides/8-Images/1-Photos/04_Rides_behind_sign.jpg
The safety signs are important
This ride information sign, like others, lists the safety regulations to ride the roller coaster. Researchers from Nationwide Children's Hospital believe there need to be more consistent regulation on these rides
/newmedia/mcp/osunch/2013/apr13/rides/8-Images/1-Photos/05_Destini_homework.jpg
New study shows just how common ride injuries can be among five years or younger
Children like Destini Malone are part of the 4,400+ children that are injured on amusements rides every summer. According to a new study from Nationwide Children's Hospital, the most commonly injured regions seem to be the neck and head.
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NCH Infographic
Amusement Ride-Related Injuries Among Children and Adolescents in the U.S.
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NCH Infographic
Amusement Ride-Related Injuries
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