Believe it or not, carousels are actually on the list of top 10 most dangerous amusement park rides according to injury and death reporting. All a carousel is, is a ride that you sit on as it slowly circles around while playing music. Children love to go on carousels. The problem with this, is that so many young children go on carousels, that when there are slight issues, it can leave many small children vulnerable to injury, especially when riding alone.
Obviously everyone has heard about a roller coaster accident, but you rarely hear about a carousel accident. Carousel accidents actually cause 21% of amusement parks injuries to children under 18, according to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System.
What can cause carousel accidents?
Carousels are typically a ride geared toward younger, small children. Parents may not go on the ride with their children, or may have multiple children to keep an eye on at one time while on the ride, or may be sitting on a horse next to their child. This means, many times, if a child loses their balance, even with a parent standing right next to them, they could fall over on either side of the horse. The horses on carousels have little to no safety belt or bar that secures a child in place. If a child falls off the horse, they can fall below the horse and get hit on its descend. The child can fall right off the side of the ride, while in motion, or fall behind and hit another horse. All it takes is a loss of balance for a small child to get seriously injured on a carousel.
Besides children falling off the ride because of losing balance, children can also fall off the ride due to mechanical problems with the ride, like starting or stopping too fast. Another problem could occur with faulty parts falling off, ropes getting loose and tangled, and ride operators not paying attention and starting the ride too early. If a mechanical issue or operator negligence occurs, it is important to report it to the park staff immediately.
Some safety measures to take when riding a carousel are to never allow a child under five years old to ride unaccompanied by an adult. The adult riding with any child should always put their arm around the child, to be able to save the child from falling to either side. If you have multiple young children riding, find a bench or seat on the carousel that can fill multiple people. If you are worried about you child losing their balance, find a horse or seat with a lap bar or safety belt, and fasten it tightly. Before riding a carousel, check to make sure that the operator is fully alert and paying attention, if not report it to a manager immediately.
If you or your child has been injured on a carousel