We're still scratching our heads over the clean bill of health received by an amusement ride where a three-year-old lost part of a finger at the Lions Bluegrass Fair in Lexington.
The child slipped and fell in the Fun Zone, an obstacle course that tests balance. His left little finger was caught between two spinning discs on the floor. About a third of the finger was severed.
State inspectors concluded there was no mechanical failure or operator error and that the amusement was functioning in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. The Fun Zone had been inspected and the operator properly trained.
Under the circumstances and Kentucky law, state inspectors could do nothing other than allow the ride to reopen.
Even though no one did anything wrong, an amusement attraction in which a child can lose part of a finger simply by falling strikes us as inherently dangerous.
And, yet, there's no provision in state or federal law for retrofitting the Fun Zone to make it safer, warning others about the potential danger or shutting it down.
Kentucky strengthened its oversight of amusement rides after a ride at the now-closed Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville malfunctioned in 2007 and severed a teenager's feet.
More recently, the state fined the Louisville Zoo the maximum $37,000 for allowing an untrained driver to operate a poorly maintained train which derailed and injured 22 people.
In both cases there was operator error and faulty maintenance and training.
What happened in the Fun Zone falls into a different category, it's true, and the owner, Belle City Amusements of Deltona, Fla, has a good safety record in Kentucky.
Still it's troubling to know that on a midway somewhere, a child's happy romp could be turning into a serious and avoidable injury.
Officials in the state Department of Agriculture who are responsible for ride safety should consult with lawmakers on whether Kentucky's safety laws need another strengthening.
And the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the federal agency responsible for ride safety, should take a serious look at the Fun Zone.