Perhaps it’s the word amusement that helps make amusement park accidents seem so devastating. The latest accident I heard about on the news tonight is too awful to imagine and is a reminder to go over safety lessons with teens over and over and over again.
As a parent of a teen, I know that the diatribe of safety lessons may not actually keep my daughter that much safer, but what else is a parent to do? Children get past the point where we hold their hands as they go from one ride to the next.
When they are little, we snap photos as they go in circles on rides that only go in a slow circle. Police cars, motorcycles, boats, fire engines–all with fake wheels and steering wheels that follow each other around and around. We wave at our children and they wave back, thrilled each time they come closer to us and then move further away until they stop and they are with us once more.
Then, the children who were once content to be at an amusement park with us–their parents, are chomping to go off on their own and we let them. We tell them the warnings. We tell them what not to do. We say, “Be careful.”
Mostly they do.
But when they don’t, it can become a nightmare.
Saturday a young man didn’t heed the warnings and set off over fences of the restricted area of the Batman roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia in Atlanta to retrieve a baseball cap. That’s one of the theories of what he was doing there where the ride could hit him.
The force was so great that he was decapitated. [see CBS News article.]
I have never told my daughter to not jump a fence at an amusement park. It’s one more item for my list. Maybe it will do some good.
Also, here’s a post Justin wrote in June last year about other ride accidents that points out the importance of safety.