A vacation to a water park is meant for fun and enjoyment, but even one water slide oops can put a damper on the best getaway.
Types of Water Slide Oops Events
There are many types of incidents that can happen at water parks that may seem to be a simple oops but can lead to pain, injury, and embarrassment. These tips can help visitors avoid the most common water slide incidents.
Most water parks have guidelines for what constitutes adequate swimwear that will be safe to use on the water slides. Usually buttons and zippers are not allowed, and swimsuits must provide full body coverage (thongs, string bikinis, and other racy designs are not typically permitted). Even the best swimsuit, however, can accidentally slip or break, baring far more skin than a person desires, particularly after racing down a water slide. To avoid this problem:
- Choose swimwear that is the appropriate size and fits comfortably while moving (walking, swimming, etc.).
- Check seams and strings before visiting the water park to be sure they are not fraying or damaged.
- Bring along a second swimsuit or generous cover-up in case of problems.
Bare feet are easy to injure, especially when walking through a waterpark that may be paved in concrete and could have steps, rocks, or underwater obstacles. To avoid stubbed toes, cuts, and other foot pain, try to:
- Walk and not run.
- Bring cheap flip-flops or other shoes to wear between water slides.
- Always wear shoes near snack bars where there may be slippery areas or sharp items on the ground.
- Avoid walking away from paths such as through shrubbery or other spaces that may have hidden hazards.
Sunburn is one of the most common problems park guests experience. While having so much fun riding different slides - not to mention waiting in sunny lines - it is easy to forget the damaging rays of the sun. To avoid the worst sunburn:
- Wear sunscreen with a high SPF factor, preferably one rated for water resistance.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours.
- Stay in shady lounge chairs, picnic areas, and other areas with less sun exposure whenever possible.
- Wear swimsuit cover-ups to minimize the amount of skin exposed to the sun.
Sudden cramps can drown the fun of a water park and can be dangerous if swimming in deep water. To avoid cramps:
- Avoid eating heavy meals while at the water park.
- Plan at least 30 minutes of non-water activity after eating.
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
- If swimming, stretch and warm up before taking the plunge.
Sunstroke can be far more dangerous than a mild water slide oops, and it can lead to severe injuries, seizures, and brain damage. At the same time, sunstroke is easily avoided with these simple tips.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
- Wear sunscreen and reapply it frequently.
- Rest periodically throughout the day by taking a few minutes to relax in a lounge chair, float down a lazy river, or enjoy a spot of shade.
A fun water slide can be a scary experience if riders find themselves twisting or turning unexpectedly. This can also be dangerous as they cannot see what obstacles are coming and they could inadvertently twist ankles or wrists trying to get back into proper position. To avoid these slide mishaps:
- Always ride in proper position as shown on signs or demonstrated by lifeguards.
- Do not try to get more speed by kicking or pushing while moving down the slide.
Losing an inner tube on a serpentine slide can be a dangerous oops because these slides are designed to accommodate the wide structure of the tube - a lone rider without a tube will feel more out of control and may be injured more easily. To avoid losing an inner tube:
- Ride in proper position with feet facing forward and holding on to the tube's handles.
- Lean back on the inner tube to distribute weight properly.
- Do not lean from side to side on steep curves that could tip the tube.
Becoming stuck in a slide is one of the most embarrassing water slide oops imaginable, but it can easily be avoided by:
- Judging whether or not a particular slide is suitable for the rider's body proportions.
- Scooting carefully when stuck or rocking forward and back to encourage more water around the body for easier sliding.
- Sliding in proper position so hands and feet do not impede progress.
An unwanted splash up the nose is an uncomfortable and disorienting sensation that can turn a fun slide into an annoying experience. To avoid this unpleasant event:
- Wear a nose plug if desired.
- Plug nose when approaching the end of a slide in case of a sudden splash or dunking.
- Breathe through the mouth to avoid accidentally inhaling water.
When Oops Occur
Despite the most responsible behavior and sensible precautions, water slide incidents can still occur. If an accident causes injury, immediately seek first aid assistance for a waterproof bandage or other treatment. If the event is merely embarrassing, take steps to prevent a repeat performance and avoid laughing at others' misfortunes.
Careful planning and responsible, safe behavior can eliminate many water slide oops accidents and undesirable moments. By enjoying a water park properly, everyone can have a great time splashing around without mishaps.