Pennsylvania is home to multiple indoor water parks. Like outdoor parks, indoor water parks may be a fun family trip – but many rides have a surprisingly high risk of injury. The high speeds, sudden plunges, and other riders can cause riders surprising injuries. Especially for young children, these rides could mean a trip to the hospital and growing medical expenses. The water park injury lawyers at Reiff Law Firm represent injured amusement park goers in Pennsylvania and beyond. For a free consultation on your injury case, contact our lawyers today.
Indoor Water Park Injuries
Some water park rides are more dangerous than others. Fast rides like speed slides and other water slides pose some risks that slower rides like lazy rivers may not have. Regardless of the ride, there is of course the risk of drowning. Even though parks work hard to keep their parks clean, there is also a risk of waterborne illness or infection. However, the following three injuries are some of the most common in indoor water parks:
Water slides and other rafting or fast-moving rides carry a risk of injuring the riders with concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBI). These rides take few safety precautions to protect riders from hard impacts beyond using the padding of inflated rafts or tubes and the types of plastic that make up the sides of many rides. Riders rarely ever wear helmets or take any other precautions to protect their heads on these kinds of rides.
This means that the only thing protecting your brain from serious injury when you go on one of these rides is your own natural defenses. Water slides can see riders traveling at surprisingly high speeds, and if they impact a wall or another rider, they can suffer severe head trauma. Even the padding of inner tubes and rafts can become a danger. If someone is struck with a tube, it can bounce their head back into edges or floors and cause concussions and serious injuries.
Head trauma can cause temporary or permanent injuries. While many concussions heal, repeated or very strong blows to the head can have more permanent effects. TBI can even cause mood or personality changes, issues with memory, and loss of motor function. When water is involved, head injuries can knock you unconscious, increasing the risk of another common injury: drowning.
Drowning does not always mean death. Certainly, if you are submerged under water without air for too long, you can certainly drown to death. However, most drowning victims may only be submerged and lose consciousness for up to a few minutes before being treated with CPR.
Even short-term loss of oxygen can still cause lingering injuries. Since the brain, nerves, and other tissue rely on oxygen to keep the body going, loss of oxygen for too long can cause death of brain or other tissue. This state of reduced oxygen in the blood stream is called hypoxemia. If this state persists, the brain will not have oxygen, and the body’s chemical composition will change, causing potential cardiac arrest. This can end in temporary or permanent damage to the brain and other organs. If water enters the lungs, the water itself, along with the chemicals in the water, can cause lasting pain and complications.
Children and poor swimmers are at a special risk for drowning, but the nature of water rides can expose anyone to potential drowning. Fast motion, sudden bobs, and quick turns can easily dump a rider into water quicker than they can hold their breath. Especially if you suffer a head injury, spinal injury, or another serious injury, you may not be able to get control of your situation, and could be forced under the water. When this happens, your reaction to gasp for breath may be what draws the water in, causing you to begin to drown.
Hyperextension and Dislocation
When cruising at high speeds, you have little to pad you from impact against other objects or riders. Especially when you get run into other riders, it is not uncommon for limbs to get tangled or pressed into awkward positions. Fingers, toes, and limbs can also become hooked on corners, edges, tube handles, and other riders. When this happens, it is common for the appendage to be pushed to its limits. This can cause injuries from hyperextensions, plus sprains and strains to the muscles and ligaments, or dislocation.
These injuries are not fatal, but they can be quite painful. Especially if you suffer injury to a body part that affects your motor skills or keeps you out of work, you could face substantial economic consequences for this injury. These injuries could also cause you to gasp and suck-in water or lose your balance and fall into the water, leading to other injuries or drowning/choking.
Pennsylvania Water Park Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured in an indoor water park, it is important to talk to an attorney about your case. Especially for serious injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. For a free consultation on your case, call the amusement park accident lawyers at Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 709-6940.