‘Tis the season for water parks and outdoor adventures. With the unofficial start of summer upon us, parents across the country have begun bringing their kids to theme parks to enjoy some fun in the sun. While we trust that whatever amusement park we choose to visit is safe, it seems as though there are stories of scary accidents occurring every summer. Surprisingly, this most recent scary incident occurred just 90 minutes after a new water slide saw its grand opening.
At Wave Water Park in Dublin, Calif., this past weekend, a 10-year-old boy had quite a fright. After meeting the height requirement, he climbed atop an 80-foot water slide. On his way down the slide, he was from it, only to tumble onto the concrete on the side. Fortunately, he only suffered a few bruises and scrapes, but the incident could have been far worse. The ride has since been shut down while the park investigates what went wrong.
— KTVU (@KTVU) May 26, 2017
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The park is owned by the city, and officials said the boy met the ride’s height requirements. They also said the ride had all of the necessary permits and had undergone extensive testing, but the ride didn’t have a weight requirement, which the park is reconsidering.
“Obviously that’s not what you want to have happen on your first day,” Linda Smith, the assistant city manager for the City of Dublin told KGO-TV in San Francisco. “But we want everyone who comes to this park to have a safe and fun experience and that’s our primary goal.”
ABC News reports that water parks aren’t regulated by the federal government; rather, states regulate the parks, which can lead to inconsistencies. More than 4,200 people are injured or taken to the hospital each year, and in the past 7 years, there have been 29 deaths – deaths! – on water slides and amusement rides. Last August, a 10-year-old was killed while riding the world’s tallest water slide at a park in Kansas.
When it comes to things like very tall, steep slides, it is nearly impossible to test every possible variable when checking for safety. As a result, parents and children alike should use caution when riding a ride. Thankfully the little boy from California is fine and will have quite the story to tell his friends. You can see the scary footage that someone captured on their cell phone below.