Most of the injuries are not serious -- just bumps and bruises, but about 67 kids a year, or 1.5 percent, are injured badly enough to be hospitalized, according to an analysis of data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which includes reports from about 100 nationally representative hospitals. It's the most in-depth study to date, tracking 20 years of injuries which occurred at fixed-site amusement parks, mobile carnivals and fairs and coin-operated rides at places like malls, stores and restaurants.
About 20 kids a day are hurt on rides in the peak season between May and September. "That's one every two hours," said Dr. Gary A. Smith, who conducted the research for Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Such harm -- and the most in-depth study to date on ride injuries -- highlights the need for more awareness, better education, and increased tracking and oversight, he said.
"In the past, the discussion has always been on roller-coaster injuries and the bigger rides," Smith said. "The message here is that these injuries occur across a broad spectrum of types of rides and across many locations."
Image: Roller coaster, via Shutterstock