Few things get the kids more excited than a trip to the water park. That makes sense because water parks have got it all: the thrills of roller coasters mixed with the cool down effects of a swimming pool. Throw in a few water guns, a wave pool, and a lazy river, and you’ve got the ideal place to spend a hot summer day. In 2012, it’s estimated that 85 million people visited the 1,200 water parks in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and attendance at water parks grows by approximately 3 percent each year.
But sadly, with thousands of rowdy kids splashing around and having fun in the sun, injuries can and do occur. Yet while one may think that rough-housing and excited play might lead to most accidents, about 86 percent of water park injuries happen around water slides, according to Saferparks.org, and most of the time the accidents are caused by fast, slippery slides. As recently as August of 2016, a 10-year-old boy in Kansas City named Caleb Schwab was killed in a water slide accident. There are very real dangers at water parks that parents and kids need to be aware of.
It’s important to keep an eye on your kids as much as possible, particularly when going down a water slide. Occasionally a rider can get stuck on a slide out of the life guard’s line of vision, and the life guard will allow the next rider to go down, and the next one, and the next one. This creates a bottleneck and a hazardous situation for all those involved.
Waterborne illnesses are often overlooked. Despite the peaceful appearance of the lazy river, there is a war going on in the water. The germs of hundreds of visitors are fighting with the chlorine and other chemical agents, desperate to find a new host to infect. Sometimes the bad guys win and there’s an outbreak of Cryptosporidium or E. Coli or Giardia – wicked little devils that can lead to illness or even death. What can you do to avoid these germs? Two simple steps: Always take a shower before entering the water, and don’t get any of the pool water in your mouth. Be sure to inform your kids about these simple preventive measures before spending a day at the water park.
If you or one of your kids have been injured or become sick after a visit at a water park, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney about liability for your suffering. Call the Guster Law Firm, LLC at (205) 581-9777 today for a free consultation.