Pay attention to how you are feeling. Your body will usually give you some signs if you are doing too much or something is not right with you physically. Never push yourself if you begin to feel at all light headed, dizzy, nauseous, or in pain. Never hesitate to get medical attention if you think you might need it. And, do not even attempt to continue getting on rides if you are at all unsure about the safety of doing so.
Just because we are getting older doesn’t mean we do not still enjoy some of the things we oohed and awed about as children. Many of us who have become grandparents are rediscovering many of the thrills of childhood that make us feel like kids again.
The sight of a traveling amusement park or carnival setting up in field or parking lot nearby has always put smiles on faces... young and "seasoned" alike. Children and “kids at heart” get a kick out of trying out all the different rides and other attractions.
Most of these venues follow specific guidelines and adhere to strict regulations that ensure the well-being of their visitors. However, there are some that are not as safety conscious as they should be.
It is absolutely crucial for everyone to be vigilant, observant, and cautious when visiting any mobile amusement park or carnival. After all, accidents and mishaps can happen at even the safest among them.Those of us in our "seasoned" years also have to remember that we are NOT really kids anymore... even if we feel as if we are!
There’s plenty we can do to help ensure our safety when enjoying a visit to the local amusement park or carnival. The following are just a few suggestions.
Wear sensible clothing. Dress for comfort, but also for safety. Wear fitted clothes that will not accidently get caught up in ride apparatus and machinery. Avoid clothing or accessories that hang away from your body, like hoods, scarves, necklaces, ties, etc. If your hair is long, be wary about how you style it as well.
Avoid excessive sun exposure and always use sunscreen. Try to plan your visit during a time of day when the sun is less intense, such as early morning or early evening. Throughout your visit, make sure to take regular breaks in a shady spot. Always apply plenty of sunscreen on all exposed skin, even if the sky is overcast or cloudy. Reapply frequently, especially if you are perspiring heavily. In addition, keep in mind that your aging skin may have become more sensitive to the sun.
Make sure to eat enough during your visit. It is easy to forget to eat when you are having fun and also surrounded by mostly unhealthy food options, like cotton candy and greasy foods. Bring along some healthy snacks so you can refuel your body and recharge your energy. Just don’t eat a large amount of food before getting on a ride, because that would only invite stomach issues.
Thoroughly assess each ride before getting on board. Regardless of its size or speed, you should always evaluate whether a ride looks well-maintained and in good condition. Examine its mechanics, seats, passenger safety restraints, etc. Check out the person controlling the ride as well. If you have any doubt whatsoever about a ride’s safety, DO NOT get on board. Likewise, if you are ever at all unsure about whether or not a ride could be harmful to your health, walk on by.
Always space out rides. Even if everything seems completely safe about the rides you are enjoying and you feel great health-wise, it is important and smart to keep your enthusiasm in check. Refrain from going on back-to-back rides. Always take breaks in between. Before getting back on board, spend some time watching others ride, go for a walk, have a snack, sip on some water, or enjoy a shady spot for a while.
Find the right pair of shoes. You may be on your feet and walking far longer than you may be used to, so be prepared. Well-fitting, well-broken-in shoes are a must. Make sure your shoes have closed toes as well as being comfortable. Sandals and open-toed shoes can make injuries more likely.
Speak with your doctor before visiting a traveling park or carnival. Even if you feel great physically, it makes sense to talk with your doctor before going on fast moving or erratic rides. Ask about health concerns that may impact your visit, including your ability to remain on your feet for long periods, to spend time in the sun, or to eat the food provided at typical “carny” food stands, etc. Always follow all your doctor’s recommendations.
Take the time to investigate the “lay of the land.” As soon as you arrive at an amusement park or carnival and before doing anything else, take a walk around the site. Find out the locations of information and ticket booths, restrooms, exits, food and drink stands, and especially first aid stations. Becoming familiar with your surroundings and knowing where things are should you need them, can be quite comforting and reassuring. It can make it much easier to let go and really have fun.
Stay well-hydrated. Dehydration can happen surprisingly quickly and come on unexpectedly. It is important to drink plenty of liquids throughout your visit. Avoid caffeinated drinks, because caffeine actually accelerates dehydration. Water and beverages containing electrolytes are much better options.