More Than 30,000 Injured At Amusement Parks In 2016, CDC Estimates

A new report indicates that the number of amusement park injuries continues to rise nationwide, indicating that tens of thousands of people are injured each year, including many severe and fatal injuries. 

According to data compiled from emergency room visits gathered by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that nearly 31,000 people suffered an amusement park injury in 2016, and at least 22 deaths occurred since 2010, excluding injuries at water parks and water slides.

While the data is limited, the agency warns that regulations concerning amusement parks are inconsistent, according to a recent report by CNN. However, the danger is real, especially as families are in full swing of peak amusement park season during the summer when children are out of school.

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Amusement parks and ride manufacturers don’t have to report injuries or mechanical failures to any governing body. While the CPSC oversees their regulation, individual states decide who is required to inspect mobile amusement park operators.

There is not one clear governing body that oversees the regulation of amusement parks nationally. That is left up to each individual state and local governments. Some states don’t require amusement parks be regulated at all.

Last week, one person was killed and seven people were injured when a ride at the Ohio State Fair malfunctioned, breaking apart mid-air. The Fire Ball ride was inspected three to four times before it was signed off on. No problems were found before the malfunction. Most often, rides are only visually inspected once they are constructed.

The annual safety survey conducted by the International Amusement Park Association estimated more than 1,500 amusement park ride-related injuries in 2015. This was an increase of 32 percent since 2014.

The association collects data on fixed-site amusement parks, not parks where the rides move from location to location, such as fairs and carnivals.

Safety experts are calling for a national injury reporting system for all mobile and fixed-amusement park rides. They emphasize the need for better surveillance and enforcement standards to help protect consumers.

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