twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Teen Decapitated at Six Flags

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

How to keep your kids safe at amusement parks this summer.

Asia-Leeshawn-Ferguson270.jpg

17-year-old Asia Leeshawn Ferguson of Columbia, South Carolina was killed at Six Flags Over Georgia on Saturday. He died after he and another teenager scaled two fences and entered a restricted area. Ferguson was hit by the speeding "Batman the Ride" roller coaster and was decapitated.

Momlogic talked to amusement park safety expert Alan Korn, Director of Public Policy and General Counsel for Safe Kids Worldwide, for his perspective. "This case was particularly surprising because the teen ignored several barriers (like a sign saying "Keep Out") and also scaled fences," he says. "Plus, he ignored the apparent upfront hazards of a roller coaster traveling at fast speed. This is one of those situations where this young adult ignored all reasonable safety precautions. This was not the fault of the amusement park. It's ultimately up to the good judgment of young adults to follow warnings not to behave like this."

But he says even though this incident was caused by poor judgment on the part of a young adult, that doesn't mean parents should throw caution to the wind. The park and the parents have a responsibility to ensure safety, according to Korn. "There are 2-4 deaths and 8,000 injuries per year at amusement parks," he says. "A day at a park should never end in the ER or with a death." He offers parents the following safety tips:

Follow the height and age restrictions on the rides: Most parents don't realize that the numbers on the signs are a minimum requirement, Korn says. If a sign says: "Anyone under 5 feet can't go on" that means you have to be at least 5 feet. But just because you meet the height requirements, you also need to possess the physical and cognitive capabilities to ride these rides. They call them thrill rides for a reason.

Follow your instincts: Watch the ride a little before you put your kid on it, recommends Korn. "You know your kid best," he says. "If they're showing any apprehension or discomfort, go try another ride. Many rides are scary, and require an adult to ride with the child. That is a wonderful rule. If you're on the ride, too, it helps ensure your child won't stand up on the ride, take off his seat belt, dangle his feet over the edge...and you can also provide emotional comfort, as well."

Always use the safety equipment: "The park knows their rides best," Korn says. "If there are machine restraints, use them. These rides are engineered to be very safe, but that doesn't mean accidents don't happen. In a Six Flags park in Texas, a kid's feet were cut off by the ride. But if you behave safely, and follow the height and age instructions, you'll drastically lower your risk of injury."

"In general, amusement parks are very safe," Korn concludes. "But they could always monitor the rides better, train their attendants more, or step up the maintenance. Usually the attendants are kids who are standing in the sun all day. They're on their high school summer vacation, and they're bored and not paying attention." So it's important for parents to be more vigilant than ever. Your kid's safety depends on it.


next: Moms' Sex Challenge: Week Three
92 comments so far | Post a comment now
jenbeee May 13, 2011, 12:01 PM

I wonder how long till the parents find a way to sue…

montana May 15, 2011, 3:22 PM

He got what he deserved. Those ” thugs” are always ruining a good park, nightclub, neighborhood etc. One less to worry about I say

Candice May 18, 2011, 4:53 PM

Harvey, your comments read to be ignorant. Are you saying that ethnic people are not fit to exist? Get an education, you are the type of person that makes your race look bad. He was a teenage boy, teens do stupid stuff everyday. Unfortunately, no matter the race, sometimes they die. Whether its driving while texting, swimming in restricted areas, or jumping fences, most teens are immature and think they are invincible. It has nothing to do with Darwin. Stop being a judgmental jerk.

SUMMER May 20, 2011, 8:12 AM

WHY IS RACE COMING UP? THIS COULD OF BEEN ANYONE’S CHILD.

Tom May 20, 2011, 10:41 AM

The real tragedy was the loss of the tiger. Too many stupid people; not enough tigers.

Bill S May 21, 2011, 1:51 AM

Heads will roll…..oops sorry

Bill S May 21, 2011, 1:53 AM

heads will roll

Claudhell May 24, 2011, 9:41 PM

The “white” kids that were mauled by tigers at the San
Francisco zoo were asian….

WE ARE ALL HUMAN BEINGS…….

jeffdg May 25, 2011, 4:43 PM

re: R Crocker July 1, 2008, 10:14 AM

i knew delilah’s attitude made me uncomfortable and ws trying to figure out how to address here. i just ran across your entry and feel you’ve done a great job indentifying the priorities and how they might be dealt with.

Anonymous June 6, 2011, 1:33 AM

It’s sad to read about what happened to this young man, but let’s be positive and say he’s in a better place now. That’s all that should be said and let God judge and not us. People need to start looking at the positive in people and not the negative and if you are that concern, help someone (not scorn them) with their shortcoming rather than criticize and judge. There is not one single person in this world that’s pure and perfect, we all have our flaws. Race has nothing to do with this. I don’t know why people always have to make it so. We all breath the same air, bleed, and die. Nobody is special. Enough with the racial barriers, it has gotten us nowhere. Don’t people learn from history “THAT WAY WE DON’T REPEAT IT”. For ex.”Hatred” Hitler killed millions of innocent Jewish people. I will never understand why humans treat each other in such manner. Hate, anger, and everything that’s negative is just poison to our bodies, mind, soul and everything around us. Let’s be kind to one another. Life is hard enough as it is, why can’t we respect and help each other.

Anonymous June 6, 2011, 1:36 AM

It’s sad to read about what happened to this young man, but let’s be positive and say he’s in a better place now. That’s all that should be said and let God judge and not us. People need to start looking at the positive in people and not the negative and if you are that concern, help someone (not scorn them) with their shortcoming rather than criticize and judge. There is not one single person in this world that’s pure and perfect, we all have our flaws. Race has nothing to do with this. I don’t know why people always have to make it so. We all breath the same air, bleed, and die. Nobody is special. Enough with the racial barriers, it has gotten us nowhere. Don’t people learn from history “THAT WAY WE DON’T REPEAT IT”. For ex.”Hatred” Hitler killed millions of innocent Jewish people. I will never understand why humans treat each other in such manner. Hate, anger, and everything that’s negative is just poison to our bodies, mind, soul and everything around us. Let’s be kind to one another. Life is hard enough as it is, why can’t we respect and help each other.

Ack June 12, 2011, 1:46 PM

R. Crocker: SHUTUP. You are trolling this post, trolling the repsonses, and writing LONG non-sensible rants. No one cares what you think anymore, SHUTUP.


Leave a reply:



(not displayed)

     




Avoid clicking "Post" more than once
Back to top >>
advertisement