You see all his 10 points/topics are physical in some way. Mainly in the way that is controlled by oneself! Common sense towards proper actions. I pose this point mainly for extra topic of discussion....
What is the biggest or main cause of injury/death? (before I go on, if ANYONE wishes to debate this topic, please think before you try to justify any words soon to be spoken/typed) ANSWER: Cigerette smoking! #1 is first hand smoking-one that smokes the cigarette themselves. #2 is alcohol. and folks...#3 is secondhand smoke! Yes we live in a free country, so if you choose to smoke, enjoy because your controlling your own fate, but please follow a parks guidelines for it's consumption. Same with alcohol consumption, but not all parks offer it to their guests. The one's that do offer it have specific reasons and controls that's why we can have a "drink" on their property. Secondhand smoke on the other hand is NOT controlled by the one smoking. Not like we can post signs and tell the non-smokers not to enter a controlled area because they may receive harmful conditions, etc....so it's just easier to post simple signs and hope that the smokers utilize these areas accordingly. This is the most cost effective route a park can take and seems to usually work.
My last personnal family trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg (April 25th & 26th of this year) went well except for the people who seem to believe that they did not have to use the designated smoking areas to enjoy their own guilty pleasures! Whether it be people smoking in the queues, or in areas that they may feel are out of the way of others until someone passes by. Lastly, just because your outdoors and there is no wind does NOT justify breaking the park rules. I brought this to the attention of a passing security person, and was told, "Sir...If I try to govern everyone that is not abiding by the park rules then there would be many un-happy park goers." I stood there dumb-founded thinking what the hell did he just say??? I was about to make a call to personnal office, and then get some operational mgt involved, but my wife soon told be to calm down and tend to my daughter (who is 5 years old) and began to get upset and started to cry! Why any of you may wonder???
FYI - my mom, God rest her soul, passed away about just over two years ago from a combined condition of COPD and Lung Disease due to her chronic smoking habit. Yes, she tried to quit, but just never could shake the habit. My daughter remembers how this effected our family and soon was screaming that she misses her grandma! Tramatized by this happening and due to the fact another Mother's day is soon upon us, I felt the need to bring this to anyone's attention. Let the record state... my Mom NEVER smoked around my kids once they were born!!! She also abided by any and all rules by any public place she attenbed with us!
I DO NOT wish to create controversy over this issue and Robert I apoligise to you Sir if I've spoken out of turn on your site regarding some other form of tragedy. I just felt you brought up some topics and stated 10 points that have some validity, but fail to be the "top ten" issues within a "Safe Summer at America's Theme Parks". For whatever reason you missed this one, so be it, but second hand cigarette smoke is such an issue in so many states and within many "PUBLIC" places that I guess I just see it as a stronger safety point issue. An issue that can't be controlled by anyone except the person smoking.
In comparision, someone who controls their illegal entrance to a posted off limit ride area and gets hurt, killed, or does this harm to a ride goer is in the wrong. I can agree with this one, because the harm not only comes to that said person, but possibly to the rider, or riders! The other's, like dehydration, sun-burn, your own personnal health conditions, etc...usually only harm that specific person or the people their with.
In closing, since this issue wasn't added, I'm curious to see what other issues may be spoken of? I'm unable to speak of ANY operational issues I'm aware of at parks I visit unless I personnally deal with them. If I did bring more topice/issues up here, then I'd be putting myself out of a job in some ways! Please keep me as well as the rest of your readers informed if ANY parks take up your challenge??? I'm sure you will, but there are plenty of safety issues that could be listed, and not everyone or every park may consider these ten to be a "Top Ten".
I have rarely had problems with people smoking in the parks, especially in the major parks. I'm an on-and-off smoker, meaning I like to have the occasional (once every couple of months) cigarette, usually when I drink. Truth be told, second-hand smoke is somewhat of a guilty pleasure of mine. Sick, I know, but I love the smell. But I digress ... I almost always see the smokers following the posted signs and using the designated sections, and thus I really don't consider it to be a problem.
On another note, as everyone has pointed out, this list is mostly on a self-control basis. Considering the people who break the trespassing rules cannot read a small sign, what makes us think they'll read these safety tips?
I'd like to see a death-free theme park summer, but let's face it - people make mistakes.
I was over at the adventure park, my son was riding the big chair. I was filming him, and needed to shoot over the railing. So I stood up on one of the park benches with my videocamera.
The benches had upside-down triangles, with large metal plates welded to the botton triangle point to provide a stable base.
Unfortunately, the bench I stood on was missing the front halves of the large metal plates, so at some point the bench just fell backwards.
And of course, I had to save the camera, and when it was done I had fallen with my upper legs across the front edge of the now-prone bench, after which I did a forward roll (for a rather obese older person I apparently am still pretty nimble, I impressed a teenager watching in amusement).
My legs were black-and-blue for the rest of the trip, and I was limping for a couple of days, but the camera survived intact.
I think the moral of the story is pretty clear, but that doesn't mean I'll never stand on a bench again. Probably the parks should make sure their benches can't flip over, because there will always be stupid people like me standing on them.
The moral of the story is clear - have regular checkups, obey the posted warnings, and stay fit. It's all about common sense, if you ask me.