Compared with some mile-high mega-rides, those mini-roller coasters and spinning swings seem pretty tame. But children do get hurt on them, and may even wind up in the emergency room, says Alan Korn, executive director for Safe Kids USA. To make sure that ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl is wonderful:
Read the posted rules aloud to him.
Tell him that all body parts should stay inside the car (even though posters and ads may show kids and adults gleefully throwing their arms in the air).
Use the belt and keep one hand on any child under 4 if you're riding on a carousel—falls from horses are common.
Let him jump around in bouncy castles or on moon bouncers only with kids his own size. If it's full of older children or overcrowded, come back later.
Make sure your child is securely belted in the seat. If there's only a lap bar, ride with him or make sure he's big enough not to slip under it. Lap bars are there to remind your child to keep his seat—they aren't physical restraints.
- Skip a ride if he seems afraid—he might try to wiggle out while it's moving.
Try these temporary phone number and food allergy tattoos on your kid in case you lose each other in the crowd.
From the August 2010 issue of Parenting Early Years, by Patty Onderko