Water park death raises questions about safety

EMBED </>More News Videos

Raging Waves owner Dawn Witt said multiple levels of Illinois regulations ensure that every new slide is safe. (WLS)

The death of a 10-year-old boy at a Kansas water park this week has sparked parents' concerns about their own local water park.

"Whenever there is an incident anywhere, I think about safety everywhere," said Kathleen Bieritz, a teacher who spends most of her summer days at west suburban Yorkville's Raging Waves water park.

Raging Waves has 300,000 visitors during its three-month season. Among the draws are lazy river and 20 water slides.

Much goes into making sure each and every one of them are safe to use on a daily basis, said Connor Reynolds, of Raging Waves.

"We have our maintenance crew walk up every single slide to make sure that there are no cracks, chips, anything that could cause harm. After that we have our lifeguards test ride the ride to make sure it's a smooth ride. We have them do it twice," Reynolds said.

Standing taller than Niagara Falls at 168-feet, the Kansas water slide is nothing like what is at Raging Waves. It's unknown what causes the child's death, but Raging Waves owner Dawn Witt said multiple levels of Illinois regulations ensure that every new slide is safe to use.

"The manufacturer is right on top of us while we're building it. Then they are test riding it hundreds of times before we open it to the public," Witt said.

Raging Waves recommends people be informed before deciding where to take their children. Among the considerations for parents and guardians is whether there are enough properly trained lifeguards on-duty and whether the child meet height requirements.

Parents need to also be vigilant.

"If your child's in the water, you should be too," Reynolds said.
Related Topics:
familysummer funchild deathYorkville
(Copyright ©2017 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments