Waterslide exit velocities, user behaviours and injury prevention

J. D. Blitvich, G. K. McElroy
2007 International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion  
This study describes exit velocities, body positions and spacing of waterslide users to provide evidence for appropriate supervision strategies for waterslide use. 267 waterslide descents were analysed. Common body positions included sitting, lying head-first or feet-first, and kneeling. Exit velocities, influenced by body position and movement on the slide, ranged from 1.69 m/s to 5.64 m/s. Velocities were sufficient to crush cervical vertebrae (Stone 1981) in every trial, indicating the risk
more » ... nherent in the activity. Velocity was highest for users in a standing position. Standing descent decreased the base of support and elevated centre of gravity, contributing to an increased possibility of over-balancing, potentially resulting in injury. The forward facing seated position allows control of descent velocity and rapid dissipation of velocity on entry. To enhance a low risk environment, supervisory practices should ensure users are adequately separated; seated and facing forwards; and clear the 'landing area' quickly.
doi:10.1080/17457300600935163 pmid:17624012 fatcat:ekvr5dtuzncrreizxp64fq5vp4