WRAL.com at the State Fair

Parents play role in State Fair safety

Posted October 17, 2014

— The kiddie rides are a draw for young families at the State Fair, but even there, parents must be vigilant to keep their children safe.

Michael LaPointe got a scare Thursday night when his 3-year-old slipped down in his seat on the Dragon Wagon. The boy was not seriously hurt, but LaPointe says the experience was frightening for father and child.

"He was completely under his seat," LaPointe said. "The only thing holding him in was the seat belt around his neck."

LaPointe noticed, and urged the ride operator to stop it and untangle his son.

Afterward, the LaPointes met with the ride inspection supervisor with the Department of Labor.

That was a right move, said Brian Long, a fair spokesman.

"We want to know if somebody has an experience on the ride that's not to their liking," Long said. "Like this family has done, they need to let people know about it."

The LaPointes' experience is a reminder for parents to think safety first. Many rides have height minimums or maximums, but that is only part of the picture.

Jessica Beck, who was watching her children enjoy the rides Friday night said she tried to keep an eye on them at all times.

Lidana Chinea agreed.

"I want to make sure just in case," she said.


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