It was supposed to be a kid-friendly activity. But as 11-year-old Emily Davis scaled the children's rock-climbing wall at Florida Marlins home game, her safety harness failed and she plummeted 18 feet to the hard concrete.
Her dad Jeff caught the entire frightening fall on his camera phone. Hearing her head smack against the ground, “I just wanted to know she was breathing,” he told Good Morning America in an interview.
Miraculously, she was. Emily, who came to after a few moments, walked away with a concussion and a few bumps and bruises. Though it could have been a lot worse.
Just because an attraction is labeled for kids doesn't mean it's always safe. The Marlins organization immediately closed the rock-climbing wall, but the question is why was it open in the first place. Were there regular maintenance and safety checks? It's their job to take every precaution, especially when it comes to kids, but incidents like this show us that sometimes things fall through the cracks. So, ultimately it becomes our job to keep our kids safe.
How many times have we suspiciously eyed that rickety carnival ride and thought, Am I being too protective? Often we have questions about safety, but we don't ask or we convince ourselves that they wouldn't have it open if it wasn't safe. There have been many cases of kids falling off rides because of loose safety restraints. And a Consumer Protection and Safety Administration survey found that almost 1,100 kids were seriously hurt rock-climbing in 2010.
I say, when in doubt, stick to the petting zoo or the lame carousel and save the trip to the ER. Though, this near-tragic accident hasn't turned Emily off rock-climbing. Asked whether she would ever do it again, she said, "If I have a helmet on, I guess."
Do you usually find kiddie attractions safe?