Hitting the water park this summer? Waterslide safety questions answered

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With the summer heat comes an increase in people using waterslides. Here we answer the top questions our safety officers get asked when it comes to riding the waterslides.

I think the waterslide at my local pool is not being operated correctly and I have concerns about my child’s safety. How can I report this?

Technical Safety BC issues operator licences and permits for each waterslide in a pool or water park. In addition to issuing licences and permits, we also periodically inspect waterslides.

If you notice a waterslide that is not properly maintained or if believe it is not being operated correctly, we want to know. Report hazards or incidents to us via our online form. You can also report an incident or hazard by calling 1 866 566 7233. You can remain anonymous if you wish. 

Why can’t I go down the waterslide head first?

Riding head first is only allowed when the waterslide has been specially designed for head first riding. Presently, there are no regulated waterslides in British Columbia that allow head first riding. In 2017, we investigated a serious incident where a user went down a waterslide head first, on their stomach. This resulted in injuries including four broken teeth. Please follow instructions on posted signs and those provided by the attendant. 

What drives the height requirement for children to use waterslides?

The manufacturer specifies the height requirements for all amusement rides, including waterslides. For waterslides the height requirements are typically based on the waterslide design, the landing area water depth, and speed of the ride. The height requirement for each of the rides are posted at the waterslide entrance.

Why was I not allowed to ride double with my child on the waterslide?

Most waterslides are designed for single riders, riding feet first while sitting or lying down. Waterslides that allow more than one rider are specifically designed for this type of riding. In fact, almost all waterslides that allow multiple riders use some type of tube or raft for you to sit in when riding down the waterslide. More information can be found here.

Curious about safety on other summer amusement devices? Read our article about bouncy castle safety and our top safety tips on amusement park rides. If you have amusement device questions, comment below for a chance to be featured in our next article. 

Reminder: If you choose to take part in recreational activities in public spaces, please follow the BC Government’s COVID-19 health and safety measures, including physical distancing, wearing a mask, and remaining at home if you show symptoms of cold or flu.

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