Is it really safe to let small children on kiddie rides alone?
The answer of this matter really depends on how well-secured are small children in the ride, which include potential hazard exposure, your child’s temperament, and age, and the level of risk you are comfortable to take for your kid enjoyment. Below you can find some of the questions you should ask yourself before letting your child to those kiddie rides:
- How secure is the containment/restraint system?
Secure child restraints are not required by law, including rides which are used by very young toddlers. While you are deciding whether or not to let your child ride alone on a particular kiddie ride, you should check the restraint system to make sure it is safe enough for your children.
- What is the potential hazard exposure?
If a kiddie ride doesn’t have a child safe containment system, visually take a good look and examine the hazards (falls, exposure to moving components, etc.) a child could encounter if the child decides to get off the ride or reach arms/legs outside the carrier.
- Know your child, how might she/he react to the kiddie ride?
All children react differently, some of them are impulsive or adventurous and some of them are more shy and scared than others. If you’re dealing with a child who is not easily scared, you can probably follow the ride manufacturer’s height/age guidelines.
- What does your gut tell you?
If your parental instincts tell you that your child might not be safe during the kiddie ride, you should trust those instincts. You should also have in mind that Disney, owners of the most successful amusement parks in the entire world, requires adults to accompany their children under 7 on all their rides.
You should never let children supervise children while on kiddie rides
You should always remember that it’s not wise to let a kid act as supervising companion for your little boy or little girl. It is very easy for the children to get out of the restraint. No matter what your politics are, you should always agree on a safer solution for the accompanied rider. Some of the amusement kiddie ride manufacturers and owner/operators set low minimum height limits and allow very small children to board if accompanied by another child. They use this rule to increase the market for their product, but it is not a safe strategy for young children.
Kids can’t protect each other from any kinds of injuries followed by the use of heavy machinery, even if the machine is painted and themed to look like a friendly cartoon character. Also, parents cannot protect children while they’re standing outside the kiddie fence ride, no matter how carefully they’re watching the situation. If in any circumstances the younger child decides to climb out of the seat, you’ll be too far away to do anything. If your child is either too small or too young to ride all by themselves, you should either skip that particular ride or make sure it’s accompanied by an adult.