Stay Alert on Amusement Rides

Keep safety in mind when you visit carnivals, fairs and theme parks and hit the rides. Indiana Department of Homeland Security spokesman John Erickson says you shouldn’t board a ride if there’s even the slightest doubt about its safety, and you should not let your children board it either.

He says most rides are safe, but adds adults need to take appropriate action if anything is broken, improperly maintained or not functioning. First tell the ride’s operator about your concerns. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, let the ride company’s management know, and if necessary the venue operator. Erickson says an inattentive ride operator should also be reported. Unresolved concerns should be reported to the state’s ride safety hotline at 1-888-203-5020 or

As for staying safe on the rides, Erickson says patrons should read all posted rules and listen to instructions given out by operators. Make sure children understand the instructions fully and are comfortable getting on the ride. Obey minimum height, age and weight restrictions and do not let children ride if they can’t stay seated with their hands and feet inside. Adults should also keep all body parts inside the ride at all times and secure long hair with a hat or hair tie.

Provided safety equipment should be used at all times. Riders need to remain in the ride until it comes to a complete stop at the unloading point. If it stops temporarily due to mechanical failure or other reasons, stay seated and wait for additional instructions from an operator. If you or a family member has a physical limitation due to a health condition, do not board a ride if it may aggravate it.