State records show nearly 60 reported injuries at area amusement parks in recent years
KSAT Defenders find injuries range from broken teeth to amputated finger
SAN ANTONIO – With many families hitting area amusement parks in the coming months, the KSAT Defenders looked to see how many injuries have occurred at local parks and how the state regulates the rides.
According to records kept by the Texas Department of Insurance, there have been 58 injuries at area amusement parks since 2016.
"Amusement ride operators in Texas are required to report to the Texas Department of Insurance any injuries that occur during the operation of a ride that require attention from a physician," Jerry Hagins, a TDI spokesperson, told KSAT last year.
SeaWorld reported four injuries to guests ranging from minor cuts to back and neck injuries, most of which appear to have happened on water slides.
Six Flags San Antonio also had 10 reportable injuries that included cuts, bruises and even a partial amputation of a guest's finger and a broken leg.
At ZDT's Amusement Park in Seguin, six guests ended up with injuries ranging from chipped teeth neck and back pain.
The Kiddie Park recorded four minor injuries, while the San Antonio Zoo had one reportable injury in which a guest fell off of the carousel and broke their wrist.
Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels had the most incidents, racking up 15 reported accidents, including minor cuts and bruises caused by bumps from riders hitting other guests or the slides.
Hagins said while the state regulates amusement park rides, it does not inspect them.
"All amusement ride operators are required to have an insurance policy for each ride, and then they have to have that ride inspected annually by the insurance company or an inspector that they contract with," Hagins said.
Once an insurance provider inspects a ride the state issues a sticker that Hagins said park visitors should look for.
"It should be displayed prominently on each ride," Hagins said. "It's good for one year and it will show that the insurance policy is current and in force and that the ride was inspected."
The state's injury reports are only available through the end of 2017.
He also said to always follow the warnings for each ride before getting on and make sure children are the correct height and weight to ride an attraction.
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