There’s nothing better than a family outing at the local water park. You and your kids splash around in the shallow water, innertube along the lazy river, and race down the exciting water slides. You assume—with the inordinate number of lifeguards patrolling the park—that you’re safe from any potential harm. It’s surprising to learn, then, that sustaining an injury at a water park is quite common. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that an average of 4,200 people visit the hospital each year for injuries sustained at public water parks.
Because there are so many water parks in Florida—more than 100—residents and tourists are especially prone to suffering an injury at a water park in the Sunshine State. Here are a few facts and figures that may have you second-guessing your next family outing.
What are the Most Common Water Park Injuries?
Just because water parks don’t accommodate huge, fast roller coasters doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. People of all ages get hurt at water parks, and minor-to-serious injuries are fairly common. Here are a few frequent water park wounds:
● Slips and falls: Perhaps the most common culprits for water park injuries are simple falls on slippery surfaces. With water, well, everywhere at a water park, you’re extremely prone to stumbling, especially if you’re running and climbing on slick façades. Likewise, if a water slide is particularly high in the air, it’s not uncommon for children and adults to fall from the ride and break a bone, hit their head, or scrape their skin.
● Concussions: Hitting your head is an ordinary occurrence at a water park, whether that be against concrete floors, other people’s heads or bodies, or the ride itself. Concussions are caused by a blow to the head and are typically temporary, but can last anywhere from seven days to three months. Symptoms include loss of memory, headaches, and confusion.
● Cuts and scrapes: It’s important to pay attention to broken plastic, loose screws, and jagged concrete. Because your bare feet are exposed, it’s relatively common to get a cut or scrape at a water park. Lacerations can be especially dangerous at water parks because they often lead to infection from the germs and bacteria in the water. Likewise, your blood getting into the water can be unsafe for other park-goers.
● Drowning: Drowning is perhaps the biggest concern at a water park. Even with lifeguards constantly keeping a close watch on park-goers, parents should still make sure their kids are staying safe and following the proper precautions. Any number of factors can lead to a drowning disaster—a sinking child can look like they’re playing underwater, wave pools can cause a child to get stuck under an inner tube, hair can get caught in a pool drain, and a crowded area can conceal a drowning child from a lifeguard.
● Back and neck injuries: Waterslides—which can cause your body to quickly jolt in one direction or another—can lead to whiplash, neck strains, and back injuries. Hitting the bottom of a pool with your tailbone or head can cause similar harm.
What Causes Water Park Injuries?
Injuries can sometimes just happen. Slips, falls, scrapes, and other minor injuries—even at a place like a water park—are usually just a result of a little too much fun. Yet, water park injuries—typically when they’re more serious in nature—are often the consequence of negligent staff workers and poorly maintained structures. Here are a few specific issues that can lead to a water park injury:
● Lack of pool maintenance on premises and rides
● Overly crowded pools
● Lifeguard error
● Inadequate lifeguard training
● Improper warnings regarding hazards
● Failure to enforce height and weight regulations
A water park is a place that should be safe and fun for people of all ages. However, improper upkeep and reckless staff or lifeguard behavior can quickly turn a fun family outing into something much scarier. That’s why it’s so important that before you head to a local water park to catch a wave and get some sun, you do the proper research into safe and reliable parks in your area.
Contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney for Help
If you’ve been injured in a water park accident, you may have a right to compensation. Baker Legal Team has experience dealing with personal injury claims and will help fight for the compensation you deserve.
Robert Baker is a Florida Bar Board Certified Boca Raton personal injury lawyer who has recovered millions of dollars for clients throughout his career. With more than 30 years of experience representing Florida residents, Robert will give your case the attention it deserves and help you seek the proper treatment and compensation owed to you. Give us a call at (561) 320-0000 or complete our contact form today!