Safety at the Fair

By: Marcus Washington
By: Marcus Washington

August 3, 2005

Thousands of people are injured on fair, carnival and amusement park rides each year. More than 62 percent of those are children.

The fair is typically a fun event for kids as well as parents, but studies show that thousands of accidents happen each year at carnivals, fairs and amusement parks.

"We're very very fotunate. We have an excellent safety record," said Thomas Gaylin, owner and president of Rosedale.

Rosedale Attraction and Shows runs the rids at the Albemarle County Fair. The company has been honored for its safety record. Over the last 17 years they're been recognized as one of the safest traveling carnivals in the United States.

"The rides are inspected daily by staff personnel," Gaylin explained. "We have five nationally recognized qualified individuals on our staff that are inspectors."

Roller coasters and huge slides aren't the only place accidents can occur. Cathy Wallace is the manager of the pony rides and she has to make sure not only are the riders safe, but the ponies as well.

"All the ponies are individually hand-walked so someone is next to the child at all times and we also encourage the parents to walk with them too," said Wallace.

Safety is important when at the fair. There are a lot of distractions and accidents can happen even when you're not on a ride.

If you or someone you know is involved in an accident at the fair, officials say you should stay calm. There is a medical unit on site at the fair. And if an injury is serious, grab a cellphone and call 911.

For more information, visit the Albemarle County Web site at

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