Today, water and theme parks are popular recreational places for children and adults alike. But as the number of crowd which flock these places rise, so are accidents that occur in them.
Just last month, a 19-year old girl reportedly died from water park injury she sustained in Sun Splash Water Park in Mesa, Arizona. Before her untimely demise, she was said to have approached the park’s first aid personnel after she hit her head in one of the water slides.
She complained of headache, nausea and loss of memory. The girl was rushed to a hospital where she received emergency treatment for a blood clot in her brain. She died later. The death was officially ruled to have been caused by “accidental blunt force trauma to the head.”
This, and countless of other unreported cases of water park accidents, occur in water parks or theme parks across the country.
Causes, which authorities look into as major cause of water park injuries, are the following, among others:
- lack or insufficient safety instructions
- poor maintenance
- negligence on the part of the water park
- the guest’s health condition
- negligence on the part of the guests
Water park accidents can result to a serious personal injury, even wrongful death of an individual. Victims are not limited to guests, but may even include the park’s employees.
In 2005, there were more than 15,000 amusement and water parks ride-related injuries in the US. The most common injuries include:
- contusion, abrasion
- strain or sprain
- internal organ injury
An in-depth investigation conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission showed several hazard patterns, which often caused these injuries:
- Mechanical failures – Broken welds or structural components, exposed electrical wires, broken drive chains, malfunctioning lap bars or other safety restraints, failure to shutoff, improper detachment of cars and improper detachment of structural components.
- Operator behaviors – Abruptly stopping the ride following an apparent mechanical failure, improperly assembling or maintaining the ride and defeating safety equipment such as brakes and automatic overheat cutoff switches.
- Consumer behaviors – Intentionally rocking cars, standing up, defeating safety restraints, sitting improperly such as sideways or with feet above lap bar, holding a child above the safety restraint, and in one instance, a disembarking passenger intentionally restarted the ride by pressing the start button as other passengers were disembarking.
- Others – Include rides that can injure people while apparently functioning normally, without an unusual or inappropriate behavior on the part of consumers or operators.
CPSC reported cases of cerebral and retinal hemorrhage, subdural hematoma, and loss of consciousness, headache and dizziness. Fatalities with little or no overt trauma have occurred during or after rides, which induce abrupt changes in speed and direction.
For every water park injury or wrongful death suffered by the victim, the law holds the owner or operator of water or amusement parks responsible under negligence or tort, product liability or premises liability.
The victim will be entitled to compensation once this liability is proved. The amount awarded may vary depending on the degree of negligence and the extent of the injury or loss.