Citing dangers at Ohio water parks, Milford mother advocates for ‘Makenna’s Law’

Kim Manion traveled to Columbus on Tuesday, more than a year after her young daughter was badly injured by a water sprayer.
House Bill 178, 'Makenna's Law,' is introduced to lawmakers
Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 5:55 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Tri-State woman on Tuesday introduced a new bill to Ohio lawmakers nearly two years after her daughter was badly injured at a water park.

House Bill 178, named “Makenna’s Law,” would limit water pressure at splash pads, spas, pools and water parks across the state.

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, then-8-year-old Makenna, attended a birthday party at a Tri-State water park.

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

It transpired 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 endured a two-hour emergency surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

“Two hours I couldn’t be with my baby,” recalled Manion, “and I didn’t know if she was going to be ok.”

Said Makenna, “I was scared and I was crying a lot.”

Now both Makenna and her mother are hoping House Bill 178 will prevent other children from experiencing the same.

Manion says she was told by employees at the park that an investigation had found the water feature at fault had not malfunctioned. She was told 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,” she 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.”

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