Dania teacup-ride injury triggers debate

Posted Wednesday, August 8, 2007 9:28 AM | Contributed by Jeff

As Tamarac teen Natashia West continues to recover from head injuries she suffered on an amusement park ride in Dania Beach, safety advocates say her case points up flaws in how the state responds to accidents. This week, the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued a new report on Natashia's accident, indicating that the same type of accident could happen again on the Magic Teacups, with a rider of similar size.

Read more from The Miami Herald.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007 10:44 AM
I thought the byline in the podcast announcement was spot-on: "Florida attributes accident at Dania Beach Boomers to rider behavior. Should safety measures account for 'worse case scenario?'"

How much do you have to protect the riders from themselves...apparently a whole lot. In the article, it mentions three children hurt on a train ride at Fun Spot in Orlando in three separate incidents on a Zamperla train. All three children were reaching their hands where they shouldn't have. Average age of injured child (one of them quite serious) - 4 years.

Do kids even come with PARENTS anymore?

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007 11:11 AM
Well, there are times when being right next to your kid won't prevent them from doing something they shouldn't. But yah, a well-behaved kid is probably a little less likely to do something stupid.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2007 12:51 PM
^Well, if you're watching your kid and paying attention, then when they BEGIN to do something "stupid", you can remind them that electrical outlets are for electrical cords and not paper clips. Obviously, some bad stuff is going to happen regardless - but ya gotta play the odds. And proximity says you're closer to your kid than anyone else is...so you should "notice" first.

Thinking of the child drowning recently....who is going to be MOST concerned about the welfare of YOUR child, you or someone else that has literally hundreds of people to look after (and no real *connection* to your child other than being an employee at the park your family is visiting)?

I always check my OWN restraints...I have more to lose than the ride ops...and if I had kids, the same rule would apply... ;)

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007 5:07 PM
Last time I looked, nobody is forcing any of these children or parents to get on these rides. If you question the safety of a teacup ride because you think the state is letting it spin too fast, or it doesn't have seatbelts, then don't let your kids ride. If you don't agree with what the manufacturer or the regulating agency standards are, by all means avoid the ride. Make a list and keep notes for every ride. Then when you realize that almost no rides attain your standard of safety, stay home and save the price of admission.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007 9:24 PM
As the article correctly points out, the inspectors should inspect according to the ride manufacturer's recommendations. It should be up to the ride manufacturer to determine if a modification needs to be made. If the state or inspectors make a decision to make a change, they are making what could be an uneducated guess of how to fix the problem. Changing a ride without the ride manufacturers concurrence could result in bigger problems later.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2007 10:26 PM
In regards to the train accidents, many parks make kids sit in the middle of the seats.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2007 10:27 PM
Unfortunately, This is the reason parks are adding seatbelts to everything including scramblers.

If your seated correctly in most any non upside down ride. Your gonna be safe.

Chuck

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Thursday, August 9, 2007 12:49 PM
Take a car as an example.

If you choose not to wear your seatbelt and fly through the windshield in an accident, should we remove the windshield so no one gets cut, or do we say the idiot wasn't wearing his seatbelt?

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Sunday, August 12, 2007 1:01 PM
Well if you're going to account for the worst case scenario in everything, people are going to have really boring lives. No more amusement parks, sporting activities, cars, manufacturing, construction, etc. Basically, you'd just have to sit in one place and never move because there is risk in everything. And there's a lot more risk if you are a dumbass like this chick.
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Monday, August 13, 2007 12:44 PM
I dont think that we should be giving this girl the third degree. I think that something like this could have happened to anyone,andit wasn't guest misbehavior. People lean back on teacups all the time, the forces kind of encourage it. There is a certain responsibility that the manufacturer needs to take in preventing this. Sure there are things people do on rides that manufacturers try to prevent and other things people will do that they can try to prevent but its not logical to prevent everything. I guess what I'm trying to say is this did not look like a freak accident and is something that is very damaging that could happen to anyone and I think that it is appropriate to be addressing this. I think the incident at SFKK was a freak accident that many rides have now been altered to prevent when they dont need to.
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