In just five days, four amusement park accidents have occurred sending the nation into shock and pouring forth calls for safety reform to one of America’s favorite summer pastimes.
On Thursday afternoon, a child fell out of a roller coaster at Idlewild and SoakZone in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Details remain hazy over the extent of his or her injuries, but the child was airlifted to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh.
Nightmarish accidents in recent days include a child decapitated on the world’s tallest water slide in Kansas and another suffered brain damage after falling off a Ferris wheel in Tennessee.
The most recent incident occurred on Rollo Coaster, an old-timey wooden roller coaster built in 1938 that is —rather unwisely — not equipped with seatbelts. Riders must be 3 feet tall to board the roller coaster and individuals under 4 feet tall must be accompanied by an adult.
Safety experts like Ken Martin have called for stricter federal regulations for amusement parks, specifically citing that attempts to create more exciting rides could also be amplifying danger.
"To have fun, you don't need to necessarily be the tallest or the fastest," Martin said.
Our limits in experiencing summer fun are boundless, but putting a break on the thrills should be imperative when it comes to safety.