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Safety tips for families visiting amusement parks this summer

ALBANY - Safety tips for families visiting amusement parks this summer. State Labor Department inspectors who enforce amusement park safety measures statewide provided these basic guidelines for parents and park goers to follow in order to avoid injury.
“This summer promises to be a great season of family fun in New York, while remembering that safety comes first,” said Governor Cuomo. “I encourage everyone visiting one of our great fairs or amusement parks to review these tips and have a safe and enjoyable time.”

Park goers are urged to observe the following ride safety guidelines:

Parents with children:

  • Don't assume a ride is safe for children if you hold on to them.
  • Parents should never ride go-carts or bumper cars with children on their laps.
  • Observe age, height and weight restrictions.
  • Talk to children so they know what to expect of the ride.
  • If your child gets scared, ask (if possible) that the ride be stopped.
  • If your child is afraid of the ride, it's probably best not to put her or him on it.
  • Not all rides are appropriate for all children, even if they do meet the height requirements.
  • Water rides require additional attention.
  • Walk, don't run, on pool decks and surroundings.
  • On water slides, follow instructions and leave the pool area at the bottom quickly. Always slide feet first; sliding head first is a major cause of head and neck injuries.
  • Use flotation devices when needed.

General:

  • Listen to the ride operator's instructions.
  • Read and follow posted warnings and instructions.
  • Keep hands and feet inside the ride while it is moving.
  • Don't reach toward fences or barriers.
  • Secure loose clothing and long hair.
  • Don't drink and ride.
  • Don't stand or attempt to leave a ride until it comes to a complete stop.
  • Check restraining devices to make sure they are properly latched.
  • Avoid horseplay.
  • Never attempt to unlock or loosen a restraining device until instructed by the operator.

The Department of Labor's park safety web site - www.ridesafeny.com - offers parents and children helpful tips on ride safety. The site also makes it simple to e-mail the Department to report unsafe conditions.

The Labor Department enforces amusement ride safety throughout the state, except in New York City, where it is the responsibility of the NYC Department of Buildings. It inspects rides at stationary parks at least once a year and at traveling carnivals or fairs every time a ride is set up in a new location. Last year, the department inspected more than 1,716 venues and 7,395 amusement devices.

The agency's Division of Labor Standards also monitors amusement parks, fairs and carnivals throughout the state to ensure compliance with New York State labor laws. Minimum wage in New York State is $8.00 per hour. For most occupations, employees must be paid overtime after 40 hours of work in a week at 1 ½ times their hourly rate of pay.

To find out more about amusement parks and other fun things to do in New York, please visit www.iloveny.com or download the I Love NY app in iTunes or Android.