Water parks offer a great way to beat the heat, enjoy adrenaline-pumping slides, and make lasting family memories. But it’s easy to forget that water parks come with risks, including slippery pool surfaces and poorly maintained attractions, that can result in serious injuries.
If you or a family member are injured in a water park accident, an experienced New York lawyer can help you file a compensation claim.
Understanding the risks involved in water park visits is critical to keeping your family safe. Water parks are filled with thrills and spills, but accidents can and do occur.
For instance, slip and fall accidents are quite common. These can happen due to slippery surfaces around the pool, staircases, or attractions. Falls can sometimes result in serious injuries, such as fractures or concussions.
Another common issue is water-related accidents. This could be anything from minor cases of swimmer’s ear to more severe incidents such as near-drownings. There were approximately 8,061 estimated emergency department visits annually due to non-fatal drowning from 2011-2020. Drownings can lead to severe and often permanent disabilities, including brain damage.
Although water park management is responsible for ensuring a safe environment for visitors, families need to take precautions when visiting these attractions. Some safety tips to follow during your day at the park include:
- Follow all posted rules and guidelines: Each water park has its own rules designed to keep visitors safe. Always read and follow the rules, including height and weight restrictions for rides and guidelines about running, diving, or horseplay.
- Check lifeguard certifications: Lifeguards should have a valid lifeguard certification from a reputable organization such as the American Red Cross, YMCA, or Ellis & Associates. This certification demonstrates their training in water rescue techniques, CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), and first aid. They should also hold an official CPR/AED Certification and First Aid certificate.
- Supervise children at all times: While water parks are designed for family fun, they’re not a substitute for parental supervision. Keep an eye on your children, particularly if they’re young or not strong swimmers.
- Use safety equipment: Always pack and use water wings for children who cannot swim yet. If flotation devices or life vests are recommended or provided, use them. Even if your child knows how to swim, these can provide extra safety.
- Stay hydrated and take regular breaks: It’s easy to lose track of time and forget to rest at a water park. Take frequent breaks, find shade, and drink plenty of water to prevent heatstroke and exhaustion.
- Apply sunscreen regularly: If you’re visiting an outdoor water park, protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Apply a sunscreen rated SPF 30 or higher at least 20 minutes before arriving at the water park to allow it to soak into your skin. Remember, water can wash off sunscreen, so reapply immediately after toweling off or every two hours.
- Use foot protection: The ground can get extremely hot at water parks on summer days, and it’s also easy to stub a toe or step on something sharp. However, flip-flops often do not provide enough grip on the ground and are prone to snagging, which may cause you to trip and fall. Instead, wear water shoes with a textured, high-grip sole to protect your feet.
- Take swimming lessons: If you or your children aren’t confident swimmers, consider taking lessons before your visit. Not only can this make your visit more enjoyable, but it can also reduce the risk of drowning by up to 88% in 1- to 4-year-old children. Choose a class focusing on water survival skills such as floating, treading water, and locating an exit point.
Despite the warm summer weather, thunderstorms can still occur, with New York experiencing up to 40 thunderstorms each year, with a higher concentration in the summer months. Storms with lightning can be dangerous and may lead to park evacuations. Check the weather report at the National Weather Service website before heading to the water park to ensure a safe, enjoyable experience.
Despite taking precautions, accidents can still happen. If you or a family member gets injured at a water park, you should:
- Get immediate medical attention: Seeking immediate medical attention after sustaining an injury at a water park is crucial for your well-being, and many water parks have a first aid center or medical professional onsite to treat injuries. Getting medical attention can also strengthen a potential legal case by accurately documenting the incident and injuries.
- Report the incident: After being injured at a water park, immediately report the incident to the park staff or management. They are responsible for addressing the situation, providing necessary assistance, and documenting the incident for further investigation.
- Document the incident: Take photos of injuries sustained and any hazards that led to the accident. This visual documentation can serve as vital evidence if you file a compensation claim.
- Keep a record of medical treatment: Keepdetailed notes about the medical treatments, procedures, and medications administered, as well as copies of medical reports, test results, and X-rays. You should also keep receipts and invoices for medical expenses, including doctor visits, hospital bills, medications, and therapies. This can help prove the extent of your injuries and determine the amount of compensation you are owed.
- Do not sign anything: After sustaining an injury at a water park, it is important to exercise caution and avoid signing any documents, like medical release forms, liability waivers, or settlement agreements, without careful consideration. Signing without understanding the implications can waive your rights or limit your options for compensation or legal recourse.
- Seek legal advice: Always speak with a lawyer after a water park injury to understand your rights, assess liability, navigate legal processes, maximize compensation, and benefit from legal expertise. They can guide you, protect your interests, and increase the chances of a favorable outcome.
If you or a loved one experience an unfortunate incident at a water park, the experienced team at Catalano Law can guide you through the legal complexities, advocate for your rights and help you seek the justice you deserve.
Don’t let an injury spoil your family’s future water park adventures. Reach out to Catalano Law for a free consultation.