According to statistics from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 15,000 slip and falls at water parks are reported each year. That’s about 40 percent of all injuries that occur at amusement parks. While many might blame the park owner or ride operator, is often not cut and dry. Rather, should you find yourself in this situation, be mindful of the following points.
How Do Slips and Falls Happen at Water Parks?
Water parks are a combination of slippery surfaces, stairs and slides, all of which increase trip and slip risks when improperly maintained. However, several factors come into play:
- Water parks are expected to follow ADA regulations concerning slippery surfaces. That is, both flat walking areas and stairs need to have non-slip, textured surfaces. When these surfaces get wet, the grip material helps prevent slip and fall injuries.
- Not every slip occurs as a result of water. Several cleaning chemicals are needed to maintain the park and a spilled solution or mold growth from a lack of cleaning have contributed to injuries.
- Even when dry and textured, wood decking may be behind a slip or fall injury. These structures, when laxly maintained, are known to warp and splinter, have loose nails and may collapse from rot and decay.
- Unfortunately, water slides are not as safe as you think they are. According to a study conducted by the New Jersey Division of Community Affairs, patrons are twice as likely to get injured on a water slide as they are on go-karts, rollercoasters and rapids. One reason is that they have no restraints which, in addition to the slides’ slippery surface, increases the likelihood someone could fall out onto the ground below.