Early estimates show that more than 500,000 people have attended the Florida State Fair so far, which started running on Feb. 8.
The State Fair features live music, sea lions, two circus shows, more than 200 vendors, and over 90 rides.
Today is the last day of the Florida State Fair in Tampa, FL and it is also Families and Kids Day where children get in free with the purchase of an adult admission.
How Common Are Carnival and Fair Injuries?
Last year at the State Fair, the Ferris wheel at the Florida State Fair in Tampa shut down as riders were left hanging upside down, being swung back and forth by the wind.
The latest U.S. Fixed Site Amusement Ride Injury Survey Report from the National Safety Council shows that in 2022, there were about 1,349 injuries on amusement park rides, with the vast majority being minor injuries.
According to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) told to CNN, there were 30,900 injuries sustained by patrons on amusement park attractions in 2016. Since 2010, the commission reported that they are aware of 22 deaths.
About 335 million people visit amusement parks in the US each year, yet only one in 16 of them are likely to suffer a serious injury there that requires an overnight hospital stay, according to the International Association for Amusement Parks.
What Are Potential Hazards at State Fair and Other Amusement Parks and Carnivals?
Despite the best efforts of event organizers, mistakes and mishaps are nearly inevitable due to the imperfection of human nature. Some potential reasons for injuries that may occur at fairs and festivals include the following:
- Poor or no lighting in certain locations
- Inadequately installed or inoperable security measures, such as surveillance cameras and metal detectors
- Absence of obvious signage designating emergency exits and danger zones
- A flagrant disregard for safety by some employees, especially event security
- Equipment issues or breakdowns brought on by aging or inadequate maintenance
- Exposed, broken, or vandalized electrical lines across high-traffic areas
- Personnel with inadequate training
How Can You Stay Safe at the State Fair?
- Check for cleanliness at the fair and take note of trash and how lines are run. Odds are if they are not keeping areas clean, then they are cutting corners on safety.
- Look at the rides for signs of wear and tear, such as broken seat belts or guard rails. If things are not working properly, then the ride is not safe.
- Check and see if the staff are paying attention to patrons and making sure they are seated correctly, strapped in accordingly, and that they are being helped on and off rides.
- Watch the rides a few times before you get on so that you can make sure they are running soundly.
- Trust your gut – if something seems off, then it probably is.