Summer Safety: Know the Dangers of Water Park Rides

Summer is upon us, and families across Southern California will head to water parks for fun and recreation. While these popular summertime destinations are filled with enjoyable rides, some water park attractions can prove extremely dangerous. The water slide and wave pool are favorites among water park attendees of all ages. But, when accidents occur, they can result in severe injuries or even death.

How wave pool injuries occur

Wave pools are essentially swimming pools with artificial waves. They range in depth, and the waves generally run on automatic timers. Waterpark visitors of all ages and sizes tend to gravitate toward the wave pool. The shallow side of the pool is perceived as being safe for less capable swimmers, while more experienced swimmers tend to venture into the deeper areas of the pool.

Accidents in this attraction often occur when weaker swimmers are swept into deeper waters by the force of the waves. They may subsequently slip and fall, leading to such injuries as broken bones, back injuries, and drownings.

In 2007, a four-year-old drowned in the wave pool of Great America Park, as he reportedly played in only two feet of water. His mother asserted that his drowning occurred in the presence of four employee lifeguards.

How waterslide accidents occur

Waterslides are tall, slippery slides with water running down them into a pool below. Riders generally sit on mats or inside of “rafts” while the water propels them down the slide. The potential speed involved with these rides can make them extremely dangerous, particularly if size and weight distribution regulations are not met. If a rider is too small, he or she may take flight when using the slide, leading to extensive injuries. Riders who are too heavy may hit the bottom too quickly and forcefully.

In 2016, a 10-year-old boy was killed while riding a Kansas waterslide. The child was inside of a raft on the 17-story slide when he was reportedly ejected from the seat and hit his head on one of the ride’s protective beams. The force of the impact decapitated the child and sent his body down to the bottom of the slide, in front of his traumatized brother. The family recently reached a $20 million settlement with the park and makers of the waterslide.

These are only a few of many potential waterpark injuries. These incidents can result from numerous causes, including:

  • Improper staffing and training
  • Inadequate maintenance
  • Failure to follow safety rules
  • Defects or malfunctions with the attractions

The skilled Los Angeles waterpark injury lawyers of Taylor & Ring help victims seek compensation for serious wave pool and waterslide injuries. We have the knowledge and resources to hold waterpark owners and ride designers responsible for negligent and reckless acts. If you or a family member was injured in a waterpark injury, contact our office for a free consultation.  Call 310-776-6390 or complete our contact form today.

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