A lot of parents have concerns about letting their toddlers and small children ride the kiddie rides by themselves because they are too big to ride with them. Though the park may make these rides small, slow, and low to the ground, it can be difficult for parents to put their trust in an amusement park or carnival worker and a moving ride. Toddlers and kids can be clumsy, they can get scared without their parent, and may not be able to follow rules or have the capability to understand the rules of the ride. So, is letting your child ride alone on the kiddie rides safe?
Carnivals and amusement parks have very minimal height and weight requirements for kiddie rides. These rides are mechanically designed to “be safe” for little kids and make sure that there are appropriate belts, bars, and safety precautions taken. Kiddie rides are designed specifically for small children to ride without their parents going along with them. This being said, toddlers can be unpredictable and sometimes rides allow kids who can barely walk and talk on their own to ride. So although kiddie rides are designed for kids to ride, the unpredictability of kids’ behavior can create the risk of fall accidents.
State safety agency data has shown that one third of fall accidents on rides are on kiddie rides. And of these falls on kiddie rides, a majority of the victims are two and three year old toddlers. This may be because children of this age can get scared when they realize that they are being taken away from their parent or when the ride moves, their parent is not in sight anymore. Young kids may panic and act impulsive out of fear. Toddlers are not always the best listeners and may try to undo their safety belt, unlatch safety bars, or stick their arms and legs outside of the ride while it is moving. (https://saferparks.org/safety-tips/minimum-height-restrictions).
Faking Size Requirements
Some controversy in recent years has revolved around parents who try and cheat the height requirements for rides. If a parent knows that the height is an inch or two taller than their child, they might convince the park employee to let them go on anyways, sneak the child on, or even put something under their shoes. Never try and cheat the system that was specifically designed by the ride manufacturers. Manufacturers set these requirements by accounting for safety that can protect kids of a certain size. This being said, accidents can still occur on rides, even when a child meets the minimum requirements. Each parent knows their child’s capabilities and maturity level. If your child meets the minimum size requirements, but you don’t believe that they can follow the safety rules, it might be best to ride with them on a different ride or skip that ride.
There are a few ways to take extra precaution if your child is riding on kiddie rides by explaining to them how they are to sit and behave on the rides. Explain to your child that they need to sit and remain in their seat the entire time. Make sure they know that you will be watching the entire time, and are not going anywhere. Set rules like their hands must be holding onto the ride, not lean over or out of the ride, and keep their feet on the floor. Remember that you know your child better than anyone and if a ride looks as though it may be too fast or too scary for your child, they should be accompanied by an adult.
If you child has been injured by a kiddie ride or has fallen from a kiddie ride at an amusement park or carnival, be sure to speak with an attorney about their injuries and what happened. Having an attorney on your side can make sure that you and your child get the help that you need after an accident occurs.