Caution should be taken anytime a child goes on an amusement park ride -- even at the mall.
A local Florida TV station reports a 12-month-old boy is in good condition Wednesday, after he fell and struck his head while riding an electric train at the Southland Mall. According reports to the boy's family, he is doing well and is recovering at Miami Children's Hospital.
When when paramedics arrived on the scene, they found the hysterical mother carrying her unconscious toddler. CPR was performed on the child and he was airlifted to the hospital.
The train ride was immediately shutdown for inspection. "We sent an inspector out this morning and ran the ride through its paces to determine if there were any mechanical or structural problems. It was the conclusion of our inspectors that mechanically and structurally, the train is in compliance with state standards," said a rep from the Mall.
The operation of the children's train has been suspended, allowing for further "safety study."
Momlogic talked to amusement park safety expert Alan Korn, Director of Public Policy and General Counsel for Safe Kids Worldwide, for some tips on ride safety. "He offers parents the followingá 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 or mall 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."