DD rode a roller coaster *UPDATE, a year later, page #4.. WARNING, sensitive content* - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-15-2010, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Typo disclaimer:NAK on and off

My head is seriously spinning. I had no idea where to post this.. it started off going to the Family Safety forum but I wasn't sure because I started venting, and then I thought about personal growth because of my ridiculous actions.. and then I figured that I just didn't know and I put it in here. I hope that that's okay.

At what age do you find it appropriate for a child to ride a roller coaster? What about other amusement-park type rides?

I have a story which led me to my question Yesterday, after going out to eat a Valentine's day brunch with our in-laws, they offered to pay for us to go with DD to the place nextdoor- a chuck-e-cheese type thing, only with small amusement park rides (which I didn't know about). I had never been there before. I assumed it was just a play place type thing for kids (tunnels and such), and thought my 25 month old DD would have some fun for a special treat, since we've been rather cooped up this winter.

So I sit down to nurse the baby, and FIL and SIL (who is 15, nonetheless) tell me they are going to take DD to play. Like I said- I thought they were going in the play land area.. I had NO IDEA they had roller coasters! They're kind of hidden and the whole place was a zoo (another reason I really regret going). They took DD on a few and came back with her. She wanted to go on for another ride. I was finished with the baby, so I figured I'd go and check it out. I ended up going on with her. Ohh my goodness. They didnt check height or anything (there wasn't anything to measure them either). I should have told them to stop the ride and find it totally irresponsibe of me that I actually let DD ride it that last time. The little rail thing was totally too big for her and had I not been clutching her she'd have gone sailing into the air.

This totally freaked me out and I'm so angry at myself and at my ILs for taking her on those rides (though that one I went on with her was her last ride and I put my foot down). She's still rear facing in her car seat and I'm huge on that and I can't believe I let her ride that ride. It just makes me want to throw up. I also found out that they let her ride on one ride ALONE! SIL was trying to go with her but they said that she was too tall. Nevermind the 2yo. I know DD is tall and looks like she's 3yo, but c'mon. I wouldn't even let a 3yo ride alone. It was a ride where these little airplane cars (shaped like bananas) are all attatched to long arms and spin around a tall pole while going up and down (think merry-go-round). Anyways- THEY LET HER RIDE ALONE. I was pretty angry at them for this and their defense was that "oh, she was on the broken one anyways, so it didn't carry her into the air, just stayed at ground level". Ugh. So she was on a broken on top of it.

I called my husband at his job (he was about to get off) and he came to the place and took us home.

...

So very sorry about the excessive venting... my main question was about the roller coasters, but please feel free to chime in about this situation and what you would've done (and feel free to flame me.. I know I deserve it )

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Old 02-15-2010, 06:26 PM
 
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If they don't meet height requirements, it's obviously not safe. Can you find out who licenses them in your state/area and send in a report? Perhaps call the licensing boards for amusement and find out.

I took my kids to Disneyland in CA this past summer, but my youngest, now 2.25 is tall and loved the rides, although he was unable to ride all of them.

I find your post disturbing. Ejection can be fatal.

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Old 02-15-2010, 06:32 PM
 
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hmm where you are dont they have v. strict rules about who can go on rides alone or not.

my dd has been going on rides since she was 2 years old. by herself. because i cant go on them. i throw up.

however the rides guys are VERY strict here. wont allow a child by herself if she doesnt meet the criteria.

a ride that's broken? they are allowing that to happen?!!!

those airplane rides here have seat belts. and the bar. if the kid doesnt sit in snuggly then they are not allowed in.

but i would have been really mad in your case too. esp. at their blaze' attitude.

more than them i am mad at the rides people who dont check for stuff like that. in most cases - esp. with little child - the person checks themselves even if the adult has put the belt or bar on. he always makes sure.

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Old 02-15-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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In general, I would have to see the roller coaster to make the call on the child depending on their age. I've seen some "roller coasters" that I'd easily let a 2 year old go on unattended (they're about as wild as the little roller coaster ride on toy that's available to purchase for home). With that being said, the situation you described does NOT sound like something I would feel comfortable with at all. I would absolutely report the place to the authorities that license such things. There's no excuse for those type of safety hazards, and really, it's only a matter of time until a child ends up seriously injured. As for the inlaws taking her on a couple of rides, honestly I didn't see it and no one but they know how well they may or may not have had your child secured, kwim? I still don't like the idea of a small child being jerked around, but I didn't see the roller coaster to know if that's a concern. Overall I don't think I'd be very pleased at all though!
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in Illinois.. I'm going to check that out. The attendants were maybe 16 or 17 years old. They push the bar down and leave it at that

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Old 02-15-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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I think kids should be able to go on rides as long as they meet the height requirements and want to go on the rides. I think it is awful that they aren't reinforcing the height requirements at the place you went to and you should definitely report it, but it sounds like your dd had fun and like she is a child who will like wild rides that she is big enough for. I think you should be careful to ask about height requirements for rides next time you go to an amusement park just in case they aren't enforced.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:06 PM
 
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They didnt check height or anything (there wasn't anything to measure them either).
I'm a bit confused by this part. Are you saying they didn't enforce height requirements or that there were no height requirements.

I've seen plenty of kiddie rollercoasters and if my DD wanted to ride alone, that would be OK with me. Some kids like scary rides. I did as a kid, but I've grown out of it and they make me nauseus. I always rode alone. My parents were older and not about to od anything like that. Without seeing the roller coaster, it's hard to understand what was going on. On the whole, it sounds like your daughter enjoyed it and was ready to ride alone. If the kid had been plopped on the coaster and spent the ride with tears streaming down their face screaming for help, I'd have a problem with it.

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Old 02-15-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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Thank goodness your daughter is OK.

I don't think you can be angry at your fil and sil since you yourself took your DD on the ride. But in the future I'd be more vigilant when they have your child(ren).

Next you need to forgive yourself.

Yes, your child could have gotten seriously injured if she had come out of the roller coaster car. Thank God she didn't. Take this as a learning experience and no matter how tired/distracted/busy you are from now on, pay closer attention.

You know your child better than anyone else. Even if other people would have let their kids on the ride alone, if you know your child might try to get up, or might not be able to hold on, or whatever, it's OK to say no.

I understand why you got so upset, but try not to beat yourself up over it. It's obvious you care about your daughter and about her safety.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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Totally depends on the roller coaster.

We don't have any rides around here, except during the county fair. Those things freak me out because of how quickly they're put up but I do know that's my own issue. I'm not a fan of rides at all for myself. But dh loves them and the kids love them. So he takes them.

If it was one of the little kid roller coasters, I wouldn't have a problem. But I wouldn't allow my kid to ride on a ride alone at that age, no matter what the ride was.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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I'm in IL and I'm confused as to where you were - was this a Chuck-E-Cheese type place with the INDOOR little roller coasters or at an amusement park like Great America with large, outdoor roller coasters?

Because those little ones inside? I'd be fine with that. Heck, DS went on some at KiddieLand and Great America this summer and he's 3.

I think it depends on the ride and the kid but I wouldn't immediately be upset.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:18 PM
 
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I'm in Illinois.. I'm going to check that out. The attendants were maybe 16 or 17 years old. They push the bar down and leave it at that
Where was it they took her?
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:30 PM
 
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There is no doubt, they should have asked your permission first.

From what you are describing though, it doesn't sound like she was on what most people think of as an actual roller coaster. These were inside a building right? If I understand correctly, when she was alone she just went around in a circle. If that is the case, I would have totally been ok with that.

I would call the place and ask about height or weight limits. Hopefully your state requires rides to be inspected and even though you describe the one your dd rode as broken, it was still safe.

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Old 02-15-2010, 07:36 PM
 
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If it was an indoor roller coaster, I think I would have let ds ride on it. (he's 2.5 and I think he would love it).

I also won't be mad at your ILs. They asked if they could take your dd in, you said yes. You didn't know what was in there, but they might have known and assumed you knew. You did not ask clarifying questions or set limitations. The staff felt it was okay for your dd to ride the ride. Therefore all the information your ILs could have would be that it is okay for her to ride the ride.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:37 PM
 
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At what age do you find it appropriate for a child to ride a roller coaster? What about other amusement-park type rides?
As soon as they are tall enough and they want to go. if there was no height restriction and they wanted to go, I would let them if it looked safe to me. I couldn't wait until they were big enough to start riding rides - I LOOOOOOOVE amusement parks.

We go to Great America about 20-30 times over the summer season, have been going since before the kids could walk, and my kids have been riding kiddie rides alone since they were 16-17 months and riding the kiddie roller coasters with me as soon as they were tall enough. When they were little, I would put my arms around them and hold them so the jerkiness didn't hurt their necks or heads.

I am curious because we are always looking for fun stuff to do inside - what is the name of the place you went?
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm a bit confused by this part. Are you saying they didn't enforce height requirements or that there were no height requirements.
There were no posted height requirements.. so maybe parents are to use their own judgement.. which I don't feel I did well.

This was a small ride, but it still thrashed DD about, and myself as well. It was not a smooth ride by any means.

I'm thinking of calling the place and asking about height/size/age requirements for the rides, just to settle my own mind.

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Old 02-15-2010, 07:45 PM
 
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did she have fun?

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Old 02-15-2010, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To the chicagoans asking- i'm not sure if posting the name would violate the UA.. maybe i'll pm you all

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Old 02-15-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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To the chicagoans asking- i'm not sure if posting the name would violate the UA.. maybe i'll pm you all
I would love that!! Thanks!!
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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Another Illinois person curious about where this is!
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok-PMs sent!

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Old 02-15-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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Hmm, I don't know about the specific rides or your IL's actions, but I can tell you our kids started riding on kiddie roller coasters very young and I had no problem with it FOR THEM. They were also riding alone on merry-go-rounds before 18 months, but it's very specific to the particular ride and the particular child, the environment, parental approval, etc.

I'm sorry you had such a scare. It sounds like you dc was not traumatized, though, in any way, so I'm glad to hear that. It sounds like you'll need to ask the ILs to be more specific in the future.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:07 PM
 
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As to the in-laws.....because you did give them permission to take her with them to "play".....and it was YOU who had the misunderstanding as to what exactly "playing" meant, I sort of feel like that's on you. It's not like they lied to you or anything. So i'm havign a hard time finding fault with them in this scenario. Now, if you had told them prior to this "my child is not to ride mechanical rides" and they did it anyway, that would be a WHOLE 'nuther story...but it sounds like they offerred to take their grandchildren to a fun place, they had your agreement to take the kids to the rides, at leats they "thought" they did. I think it's one of those parenting things you sort of have to learn..never ASSUME that another persons judgemnent is going to be your own. Some people have no issues with small children going on rides, some people have no issues feeding their kids McDonalds, some people have no issues having a gun in the home, some people have no issues letting uncle stan, the convicted child molester, live with them for a while and babysitting the kids while they run out ot the store. Ask, ask, ask.
As to the "park"...I would hope the staff was following proper procedure. If you have reason to believe they weren't, i think that deserves a complaint phonecall. But..it's quite possible that some of the rides truly didn't have a height restriction, or that the child met it. My eperience has been that the minimum height for small kids rides is 32-36 inches, and your child might very well be that tall.

I took dd to an amusement park for the first time when she was 10 months old. I have pics of her having a blast on little cars, boats, a tiny roller coaster, train, merry-go-round, etc. Ds first when when he was 18 months - he was not able to ride as much stuff, because he's super tiny, but he still had fun. We did however, scrupulously obey the height requirements. We've had great experiences at the 2 places we have taken our young children, the staff, even the young teens that seem to abound in those places, were always very careful about checking for height, buckling the child, or affixing the bar, etc. I would certainly be upset if they did not. As ot the bar thing...is it possible that YOU being in the car with her actually made it so the bar could not be tightened down effctively? I know I've had that happen..because I am much bigger than my children..therefore, with the bar tightened down on ME, it is extremely lose on my child, and yes, I hold on to them. BUT..if they were on alone, the bar would have been tightened down on THEM, and therefore have been much, much tighter. That might not have been the case in your situation, but it has been my personal experience.

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Old 02-15-2010, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As ot the bar thing...is it possible that YOU being in the car with her actually made it so the bar could not be tightened down effctively? I know I've had that happen..because I am much bigger than my children..therefore, with the bar tightened down on ME, it is extremely lose on my child, and yes, I hold on to them. BUT..if they were on alone, the bar would have been tightened down on THEM, and therefore have been much, much tighter. That might not have been the case in your situation, but it has been my personal experience.
I know what you mean That wasn't the case though, as the bar didn't come down to touch me even- which now that I think of it, is a bit unsettling.

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Old 02-15-2010, 08:55 PM
 
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It really is hard to address the roller coaster safety issue without knowling which ride you are talking about. Many children's rides do not have tight bars because the rides do not move very quickly and the child would not be harmed or ejected in an accident. Again, it is up to the parent to make an informed choice for the child as to his/her maturity and developmental readiness for such a ride. I don't know your child, so again, it is hard to say if it was safe or unsafe.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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I know what you mean That wasn't the case though, as the bar didn't come down to touch me even- which now that I think of it, is a bit unsettling.
It does seem like maybe things weren't being properly secured..which is very worrisome, even for people like me who like theme parks, LOL! I woudl certainly say/do something if you feel like the place was endangering people. I know that in the current economic climate, theme parks have been hit HARD, and I'm concerned that maybe things like necesary repairs aren't being made due to budget issues. Stuff like that would REALLY scare me.

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Old 02-15-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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All rides will have a safety plaque. That plaque will list the State's Revised Code that govern amusement rides. They will also list height requirements.

We have one of those an hour or two away, and I think the height requirement is like 36 inches.

As for the airplane ride thing, they really are very tame and generally child controlled. The mechanism that raises/lowers might have needed fixed, or the little button to cause it to rise up may not have worked in the plane.

My kids (6,4,2) all love King's Island, about 40 minutes from here. My eldest has been riding, what was at the time called Taxi Jam, since he was 18 months of age and the other two since they were 2 years of age.

My 2 year old has been riding the Kite eating Tree at Cedar Point since the day she turned 2.

As long as the rides have safety features (the bar probably couldn't come all the way down and still accomodate you in the same seat), and the attendants are watching, the rides are generally safe. My eldest was 6 1/2 years old and riding this with his Dad...
http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/par...orce/index.cfm

He rides this every time we go, and I have let him go by himself
http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/par...agon/index.cfm

He just rode these with me this summer and enjoyed them as well:

http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/par...reak/index.cfm

http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/par...ride/index.cfm

He rides this one solo and I ride with his brother:
http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/par...ress/index.cfm

He and his brother ride this one together without an adult...

http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/par...mini/index.cfm

My daughter has ridden these and enjoys them...by herself or with her brothers if there is no height requirements...if height requirements I or DH ride with her:

http://www.cedarpoint.com/public/par...dren/index.cfm

This is just one of two amusement parks we go to during the summer. The kids love it and it allows them to be kids. Even though she is only two and she is extra tall, doesn't mean she is not ready to ride things.
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:59 PM
 
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Since almost ALL amusement parks have height limits posted and check the heights to get on a place that doesn't do that is negligent.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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My daughter was going on those by age 2. But, it was a little kiddie ride that was meant for the toddler to age five kid. It wasn't scary, or something she could fall out of.

One time though, when she was about eight, I let her go on one of those swings that spins around on the long chains..... and she came thisclose to falling out of it. It was at Knotts Berry Farm. They had to shut it down and a skinny teenager had to run under her, holding onto her leg until it finally stopped and he could help her get right side up. (the whole swing flipped over with her in it) THEN, they had the audacity to tell me she was too thin to ride on it safely, and *I* should have known better.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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just an fyi, a lot of those go in a circle up and down rides (airplanes, dumbo, etc) have a stationary unit that doesnt go up and down for the more cautious rider.
it may not have been broken at all and may have been the best option for if she were wanting to ride alone.
the other parts, i dont have enough info to comment on.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:19 PM
 
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I wouldn't have worried much about it. Are you sure the height requirement wasn't posted? Or not on a easy visual mark on the gate? Something the attendant might see but no you?
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