On a hot summer day, one of the best places to take the family is the water park. Adults like water parks because they can lay down in a lounge chair and relax or hop on a tube with the kids and go down water slides.
One factor of water parks that tends to get overlooked is the dangers of having hundreds of children swimming and playing in a giant water park. The risk for drowning is a real, but a rarely talked about topic. Unfortunately, drowning does occur at water parks, and these parks can pose risk to children, especially small, inexperienced swimmers.
Parents of course do their best to keep an eye on their children and make sure that they are safe when swimming and playing in water, however, drowning can occur within seconds. Children who are not strong swimmers should be wearing a flotation device at all times when playing in water or should be accompanied by an adult. Unfortunately, water parks can be so crowded and have so much happening at one time, that lifeguards can make mistakes or not realize that a child may be drowning.
Even children who may be strong swimmers can get tired while swimming or can get swept underneath the water by a tide or other children. Kids are more likely to panic than adults when breathing in a little water or getting pushed under water, and this can make them more vulnerable to drowning. Kids are also very active and curious. Kids can be playing and may accidentally swim into a deeper part of the water or venture away from watching eyes. It is important that children play and swim together in pairs, so that no one is out in the water alone.
Water parks have some extra risk factors that can lead to drowning as opposed to parks, swimming pools, and amusement parks. It is best to understand these risk factors, so you can be prepared when you go to a water park to prevent tragedy from occurring. Here are some of the factors that may increase the risk of drowning.
- Overcrowding: Overcrowding is common at waterparks. Having too many people and children playing on slides, splash pads, and pools can mean that there are not enough lifeguards to watch over everyone, and can lead to mistakes, accidents, and oversights.
- Different rides, heights, activities: Waterparks are usually wide open spaces but have various pools, slides, and activities of different sizes and heights. Having a large space with lots of different things to run around and play on can make it easy for parents to lose sight of their kids, or for their view to be blocked. This can also allow for kids to go in separate directions, playing on different things and parents may not be able to keep track of their children playing on different things.
Prevention and Getting Help
When going to the waterpark, just be aware of these risks and take preventative measure such as the buddy system, flotation devices, and staying with your child in the water the entire time. No matter how careful you are, accidents can happen and if your child or loved one has had an accident at a waterpark that resulted in drowning or an injury, please call and speak with one of our attorneys as soon as possible so we can help.