If plunging toward the ground at rollercoaster speeds, like a hawk swooping toward a rabbit, is your idea of fun, then a zipline adventure might be for you. But if you’d rather end up like the hawk (happy and satisfied) than like the rabbit (dead), read on!
Zipline popularity is on the rise! And as with other adventure sport on the rise, serious injuries are rising along with it. Just last year around 4,000 people (mostly children and teens) were treated in U.S. emergency departments for zipline injuries. That’s nearly 10 per day!
Falls account for three quarters of the injuries, and collisions with trees or other structures make up most of the others. Many injuries result from improper backyard installations (by good ol’ dad). Accidents are fairly common at challenge courses, canopy tours, summer camps and parks as well.
How to keep you and your family safe? Here are some “zip tips” for safety:
- Visit Only “Legit” Zipline Parks
Research and then call the zipline operation you plan to visit. Any legitimate operator should adhere to the standards set by the Association for Challenge Course Technology or the Professional Ropes Course Association. So ask to make sure they do! If they say, “what’s that?” hang up, stay away!
- Look around
Once you get there, does the place look legit? Is a safety demonstration included? Look at the equipment provided, including carabiners, ropes, harnesses and helmets. Do they look well maintained? If the answer is “no”, get out! Go play badminton or something.
- Watch Out On Takeoff.
Many accidents happen on the elevated platform where you start out. The platform should have safety rails. If not, it’s a slipshod operation. Get out! If everything looks “kosher” up there, make sure you’re strapped in right to the harness. Make sure your safety lines are hooked on properly. Most places have two safety lines to break your fall if you stumble. And there should be someone up there helping you out and giving you instructions. If not, listen to our instructions: Get out!
If You Are Big, Beware!
Most ziplines have a weight limit. Believe us; you don’t want to test the limits of that zipline.
No Backyard Ziplines
You can’t trust your neighbor. At least not with your kid’s life. So don’t let your kids use his zipline (unless he happens to be a professional).
Protect Your Most Important Organ
That’s right, your brain. Wear a helmet.
Have (safe) fun!
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!
Syracuse NY Zipline Injury Lawyers
Michaels & Smolak, P.C.