Theme Park Photo by Jason Chen on Unsplash

Theme Park Rides

A common question asked by young people with a heart condition is whether they can go on fairground rides, such as rollercoasters. This is very difficult for healthcare professionals to answer because little scientific research has been done in this area.

There are two main areas of concern:

  1. Intense excitement/anxiety can dramatically increase heart rate and blood pressure. This, in addition to the ride’s acceleration and rapid changes in direction, may place strain on the heart and blood vessels.
  2. Many fairground rides use powerful electromagnets. Strong electromagnetic fields can interfere with the functioning of ICDs/pacemakers. If you have been fitted with one of these devices then it is probably wise to avoid most fairground rides.

Most theme parks have notice boards at the entrance to rides, listing the medical conditions that prevent people from going on the ride. If the notice states that the ride is unsuitable for people with a heart condition then you should follow this advice.

Last Updated: September 8, 2016