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Top 10 theme park safety tips to keep your summer vacation safe

Shelly Barnes • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:40 PM

Summer months bring on warm temperatures and vacations all across the states. School is out and families use the time to relax and enjoy time together. And there is a chance that you or someone you know will be visiting a theme park during summer vacation. Here are 10 tips to help you have a more enjoyable trip.

Stay Cool, and don’t get burned                                                            

Water will help prevent heat-related illnesses in theme parks. Stay away from sugary drinks as they will only add calories and not help with dehydration. Drinking water before your trip will also help keep you hydrated for when you’ll be sweating outside at the theme park.

Put on waterproof sunscreen before you enter the park. Be sure to reapply it throughout the day. After a couple of water rides, sunscreen may be washed away. Bring a hat to help too. 

Wear comfortable shoes and clean, dry socks. Feet can get tired easily in sandals. Or blisters can occur if you are not wearing socks. A good pair of shoes will give you the extra support since you will be on your feet most of the day.

Be aware of what is around you

Be aware of where you are and what is around you. Don’t stumble into someone else or trip over a stroller. And if you are the one pushing a stroller, be courteous. When walking, try not to just stop in a line of people who are walking. Step aside and let others by.

Stay away from where you don’t belong

Never enter a restricted area in a theme park. Don’t climb or hop fences or walk through employee-only gates. If you drop a hat or other item that falls into a restricted area, ask a park employee for help.

Know your limits

Read an attraction’s boarding restrictions before you get in line. If you can’t find the boarding restrictions at a particular ride, or have any questions about them, find a park employee and ask. Most parks issue special guidebooks for the rides.

Know your health

Too many incidents that occur in theme parks are the result of an undiagnosed medical condition. Know your health condition, and that of your children before you visit. Keep off the rides that could affect your condition.

Don’t cheat

Don’t cheat or ignore the rules to get on a ride where you don’t belong. Sometimes there are hidden drops, or turns, maybe a sudden stop. Don’t use things to make your children look taller than they are. Height and safety restrictions are there for a reason.

Don’t cut line. Nothing provokes more arguments than impatient people not waiting their turn. If you see line-jumping, report it to the nearest employee at the ride.

Stay in to stay safe

On any theme park ride, it is best to stay seated, keep your hands on the grab bar, and feet and knees inside the car. If you are riding a ride with no floor, relax and let your feet dangle underneath you. Check to make sure your child is still securely fastened after the ride employee has checked. Do not get off the ride until you have been cleared by the attendant.

Make a plan

Before you head to the park, review its layout on the Internet and make a plan about what rides and attractions you’ll visit. Doing so will not only make better use of your time at the park, it will help you and your family stay safe by ensuring you know entry/exit locations, restrooms, food and drink stands and information booths. If you’re traveling with children, discuss what they should do if they become lost and make sure young children have your name and cell number in their pocket or fastened to their clothing.


If you’re traveling in a group (even a small one) it’s a good idea to pair up members of the group as “buddies.” During “buddy breaks,” have members of the group make sure their buddy is still with the group, hydrating, eating a small snack, and seems to feel well.

Help the kids!

If you are visiting with a child, take a moment to explain the ride to them, and tell them how they should behave. They are depending upon you to keep them safe. Set good example for them by following the rules above, and make sure that they know you expect them to follow those rules, too.

Be courteous

Never put a crying child on a ride. If your child starts to cry, let others pass you in line until your child is calmed. Or, gently exit the line and find something more relaxing to do. Young kids can’t keep an adult’s pace in a theme park. Let them take plenty of breaks.

If you’re one of the millions of guests that will visit an American amusement park this year, plan properly and keep the top 10 safety tips in mind. A thrilling day of theme park fun can be the highlight of your summer!

UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels.  UT Extension and TSU Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment.

For more information on this or other family and consumer sciences related topics, contact Shelly Barnes, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agent for UT Extension in Wilson County. Barnes can be reached at sbarnes@utk.edu or 615-444-9584.

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