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Makenna’s Law — Ohio HB 178 — limits splash pad water pressure

Makenna’s Law — Ohio  HB 178 — limits splash  pad water pressure Makenna’s Law — Ohio  HB 178 — limits splash  pad water pressure

This October, the Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill in response to the injuries a then 7-yearold girl suffered at a water park.

House Bill 178, named “Makenna’s Law,” will limit water pressure at splash pads, spas, pools, and water parks across the state. It requires owners of the water entertainment areas to make sure the flow rate does not harm people or exceed 20 feet per second.

Makenna Day is the young girl the bill was named after.

The girl’s mother introduced the bill to Ohio lawmakers nearly two years after her daughter was badly injured at a water park.

Milford resident Kim Manion provided testimony at the Ohio House Health Committee hearing on the bill, recalling the November 2019 incident during which her daughter, Makenna, attended a birthday party at a Tri-State water park.

Manion said she received a “hysterical” call from her daughter around 2:30 p.m.

Makenna had been standing over one of the water sprayers with extremely high water pressure, causing a four-centimeter laceration that was millimeters from her cervix.

“Her clothes were soaked in blood,” Manion said. “She was still hysterical and in intense pain. I threw her clothes in the trash and wrapped a towel around her.”

Makenna then underwent a twohour emergency surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Makenna said she was scared and crying.

Both Makenna and her mother are hoping House Bill 178 will prevent other children from experiencing the same pain and suffering.

According to Manion, park employees said that an investigation had found the water feature had not malfunctioned. Rather, an employee had simply turned the sprayers on higher than normal that day.

“I had no idea the water could cause such a traumatic injury,” Manion said. “In the days following the incident, all I could think about is, this could happen to someone else. This could happen to someone else’s little girl. We need to prevent this from happening again. A blown eardrum or an eye could be next.”

State Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Loveland) shared a statement reading in part: “Many parents may not recognize the dangers associated with unregulated water pressure at water parks. It is important that we continue to advance this bill so no one will have to go through what Makenna and her family did.”

The bill awaits further consideration in the Ohio Senate.

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