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4000 Children A Year Suffer Amusement Park Injuries, New Study Shows

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Washington, DCAmusement park rides injure over 4,000 children in the US every year, according to a recent report by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

The study, published in USNews.com, show that between 1990 and 2010, nearly 93,000 children under the age of 18 were treated in the ER for amusement-ride-related injuries, which is an average of almost 4,500 injuries annually.

The researchers also found that 70 percent of the injuries happened during the warmer weather--May through to September--which equates to about 20 injuries per day during that time.

Children were most frequently injured in the head and neck region (28 percent), followed by the arms (24 percent), face (18 percent) and legs (17 percent). The most common types of injuries were soft tissue (29 percent), strains and sprains (21 percent), cuts (20 percent) and broken bones (10 percent).

The publication of the report coincides with the beginning of the warmer weather in most of the US. It’s not just amusement parks that pose the potential for serious injury to children. Water parks, traveling carnivals, ski parks and theme parks are all potentially dangerous.

Notably, the researchers also found that children who are injured on rides at shopping malls are more likely to suffer head, neck or face injuries; concussions; or cuts than injuries on fixed or mobile rides. Almost three quarters of the mall ride injuries occurred as a result of a child falling off, on or against the ride. The researchers point out that mall rides often are located above hard surfaces and may not have child restraints.

"Although the US Consumer Product Safety Commission has jurisdiction over mobile rides, regulation of fixed-site rides is currently left to state or local governments, leading to a fragmented system," senior study author Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy, said in a hospital news release. "A coordinated national system would help us prevent amusement-ride-related injuries through better injury surveillance and more consistent enforcement of standards." (USNews.com)

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