How Safe are Waterslides?
Slippery Slides are a Summer Staple, But How Safe are They?
Waterparks can provide hours of endless fun on hot summer days. What better way to stay cool than slipping down a waterslide? Whether you're with your kids or are a kid at heart, waterparks offer an adventurous escape from the summer heat.
However, like any thrill ride, you should approach waterslides with caution. They should be properly maintained by the park and inspected at regular intervals. How do you know if your favorite waterslide is up to code? We'll show you a few things to look for before your next aquatic adventure.
Things to Look For on Your Next Waterslide
Obey the Operator – There should be an operator posted at the entrance to any waterslide. They'll inform you of the proper way to ride and signal when you're clear to go. Waterslides are built with predetermined launch intervals to keep riders safe, so don't proceed down the slide before the operator tells you.
Posted Rules – All waterslides should have clear step-by-step rules regarding how to ride safely, as well as height and age restrictions, and more.
Lifeguarded Pool – Most waterslides have a pool located at the end of the track. There should always be a lifeguard posted, especially if the water is waist high. Before riding, check the landing pool for lifeguard personnel.
Floatation Devices – Personal floatation devices (PFDs) should be available. Consider using a PFD for yourself or a child who isn't comfortable swimming. Ask a waterpark employee for more information.
Waterslide Accidents are More Common Than You Think
There are a number of instances where waterslides have caused injuries and accidents to waterpark patrons. Sometimes, these accidents happen in ways you couldn't expect.
Collisions – There have been cases where waterslide operators don't maintain a proper interval between riders, causing them to collide at a high rate of speed in the landing pool.
Falls – Improperly maintained steps and walkways are a hotbed of falling accidents. It's even more common in waterparks with wooden steps, where it's possible for the wood to become extremely slick due to natural conditions.
Head Injuries – When entering the landing pool at the end of the ride, you're typically decelerating quickly, which can often cause your body to move in unexpected ways. In some cases, you might even make contact with parts of the slide that could cause serious head injuries.
Drowning – Sometimes the unthinkable can happen. Whether it's from faulty equipment or inadequate lifeguards, drowning is always a possibility on thrill rides like these. If you feel uncomfortable with a slide, err on the side of caution and step aside.
Make Your Summer Safe and Obey the Rules
We hope you make the most of your summer and enjoy the sunny weather. If a waterpark is part of your vacation plans, don't forget to do your research and obey the rules. That will lead to a day of fun instead of a day in the ER.
Keep these simple pool rules in mind as well. They could save your life.