New Water Park in Aventura Reminds Us to Practice Safety
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New Water Park in Aventura Reminds Us to Practice Safety

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Aventura's Tidal Cove is joining South Florida's shortlist of water parks, and with it, a wave of eager residents ready to tackle the park's seven slides. As the summer weather heats up, excitement is building for the area's newest aquatic entertainment center, located at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa.

Before Tidal Cove slides into business, let's review 8 easy water park safety tips to keep you and your family safe this summer.

Tidal Cove Bringing Water Park Fun to Aventura

While many reps for Tidal Cove have announced a slated opening day sometime in March, local Aventura realtors hint we may have to wait until early December to finally get our first glimpses of the park. The verdict is still out on when we can expect to enter Aventura's newest aquatic center, but we do know what adventures await. Tidal Cove will feature a lazy river, rafting excursion, pool with a man-made beach, and seven slides, the largest reaching a towering 558 feet high.

However, the fun does come for a price. Tidal Cove will only be available to those staying at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry. Room rates start at $529, and there is a $75 a day charge for access to the water park and neighboring activities. If the wait (or the price) is deterring you from trying the new Tidal Cove park, that doesn't mean you and the gang can't head out to a different local water park this weekend instead.

Other South Florida water park options include:

  1. Rapids Water Park 
  2. Grapeland Water Park
  3. Paradise Cove Water Park
  4. McDonald Water Park

8 Easy Water Park Safety Tips

Whether you're holding out for Tidal Cove or are skipping the line to head straight to Rapids, safety is still paramount. No matter your age, water park safety is something that should be reviewed before heading off to the slides. If you're headed to the fun, these safety tips are crucial:

1. Stay in Sight

If you're heading with a group to the park, be sure to keep every member in sight. This is especially true for small children. But, this also applies to friends that might be weak swimmers, those who have been drinking, or those who have spent too much time in the sun. No matter your age, utilize the buddy system for going from Point A to Point B in the park.

2. Locate Lifeguards, Bathrooms, and Drink Stations

When you enter the park, there's three locations each member of your group should know. All attendees, especially children, should know where the lifeguards are stationed. In the event you get separated or injured, the lifeguard should be the designated meeting point. Likewise, knowing where the bathrooms and the refreshments are located are key to staying comfortable and hydrated all day long.

3. Wear Floaties or Life Vests

It's a common misconception that life vests are solely for children. However, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) recommends that all non-swimmers, weak swimmers, or swimmers under 48" should wear a Coast Guard approved life vest. Before you hit the slides or the wake pool, hand out life vest or arm floats for members of your group accordingly.

4. Obey the Park Rules

Even water park aficionados should review the park's rules before diving into the fun. All parks have different features and slides, each with their precautions relating to height, weight, age, swimming ability, and medical conditions. Read all signs before sending your child off to play, and ask lifeguards or staff if you have any questions.

5. Protection from the South Florida Sun

Fun in the sun is all well and good, so long as you're protecting yourself from Florida's dangerous rays. Between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. it's possible to get a sunburn in under an hour. So, come prepared with sunblock, SPF lip balm, and plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.

6. Dress for the Day

As you're protecting yourself from the sun, your choice of clothing and accessories is just as important to avoid sunburn and stay safe. Opt for loose fitting clothing over your bathing suit, and bring along a hat, visor, or sunglasses. Most importantly, wear water shoes. Not only will water shoes keep your feet safe from waterborne bacteria in bathrooms and showers, but they will also help ensure you don't slip and fall.

7. Know Your Limits

It can be easy to get carried away while at the park, but know your limits if you don't know how to swim or you're not a strong swimmer. Only go in pools or on slides where the water level doesn't go over your head, and wear a life jacket.

8. Be Mindful of Crowds and Lines

The hustle and bustle of busy water parks can become dangerous quickly.  Don't try to cram into an already too-crowded line, and watch your footing when rushing along the crowd. Even in swim shoes, the wet ground can become slick and cause slip and fall injuries.

When the Water Park is Dangerous

The World Waterpark Association released a report estimating that 85 million people visited the country's 1,300 water parks in 2015 alone. At popular parks like Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, rides can hit capacity as early as 11 a.m. in July. What does this mean? That in the massive crowds that flood water parks, it can be easy to toss water park safety precautions to the side.

However, this can be and historically has been cause for very serious injury. A review of raw data from 2015 found 45,000 injuries associated with amusement rides and water slides nationwide. About 30,000 of these cases involved visitors under 18. Furthermore, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that 4,200 people had to visit the hospital in 2015 for injuries sustained at a public water park.

Of all injuries resulting from failing to adhere to water park safety precautions include:

  1. Head and neck injuries, 28%
  2. Arm, leg, or extremity fractures, 18%
  3. Lacerations, 18%
  4. Arm, leg, or extremity sprains, 15%

Diving into Water Park Fun... Safely

From a bumpy ride down the water slide to a slip running to the concession stand, water park visitors can suffer an injury at any point during their fun in the sun. Before heading back to the park, ensure your safety first. If you suspect you or your child may have suffered soreness or injury after a day at the park, contact a chiropractor in Aventura today.

At ChiroCare of Florida, our talented team of physicians specialize in both general chiropractic as well as pediatric chiropractic. Our pediatric chiropractors gently and effectively help heal injuries to the back, neck, arms, or legs, and keep your little ones feeling nimble and healthy. For adults, ChiroCare of Florida physicians help improve pain, healing time, flexibility, and balance, letting you join-in the fun that much faster.

Will you be visiting Tidal Cove? What about South Florida's other reigning water parks? Before you slather on the sunscreen and hit the slides, be sure to keep these water park safety tips in mind.

About the Author:
Dr. Steven Schwartz
Raised in Coral Springs, Florida, Dr. Steven Schwartz is a major advocate for the South Florida community. CEO of ChiroCare of Florida, Dr. Schwartz has grown the group from one facility to 11. Whether he’s treating patients or volunteering for community service, Dr. Schwartz’s long-term goal is to ensure that each and every patient can experience the ChiroCare of Florida difference.
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