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Health & Parenting

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Amusement Park Survival Guide

How to have amusement park fun and avoid injury.

Limit the Number of Extreme Rides You Go On

You should also limit the number of thrill rides you or your kids go on, and take breaks between rides. Fackler says there is even research that shows that going on rides repetitively can put you at higher risk for injuries.

Dress Smart

Bring comfortable clothing and shoes, says James Hubbard, MD, MPH, who is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Family Doctor: A Magazine That Makes Housecalls. Wear closed-toe shoes to protect your feet during rides. "Remember that you are spending the day around industrial machinery," says Fackler. This means you should put your hair up, and avoid wearing anything dangly -- scarves, drawstrings, or long necklaces, for example. Dress in light-colored clothing to avoid overheating.

Be Careful on Water Rides

Be especially careful on water rides, which aren't regulated at the federal level. You need to teach children not to stop in the middle of a slide, for example, which may cause serious neck injuries, says Fackler. Your child should also be big enough to maintain all of the necessary positions recommended for a ride. As a general rule, be conservative when you are unsure if a ride is safe.

Bring a First Aid Kit

It's not uncommon for people, especially younger kids, to take a fall at an amusement park. Tell your kids not to run, and if you're armed with a first aid kit, you will be able to manage minor cuts and bruises. Pack any medications, or emergency supplies -- say, for a kid with an allergy or chronic ailment -- and carry the kit with you in the park.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and in between going on rides. "If the temperature is above 90 degrees and the humidity is above 35%, it is difficult for your body to get rid of heat," says Hubbard. This makes hydration especially important. "Children tend to sweat a little less than adults, and they produce more heat. Make sure your child is hydrated before they go out," says Hubbard. Have your children drink liquids all day long, but avoid caffeinated and high-calorie beverages, and opt for water or sports drinks instead.

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