Valley's largest water park talks safety after deadly slide incident in Kansas

Published: Aug. 9, 2016 at 7:08 PM EDT
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The horrific water slide death in Kansas is stirring up concerns for parents across the country, including here in the Valley.

On Tuesday, we checked in with the largest water park in the Shenandoah Valley.

WHSV's Isabel Rosales was at Massanutten Resort to check what they're doing to prevent similar incidents. Massanutten has no rides near the level of Schlitterbhan Park's slide, but nonetheless, they take safety very seriously.

Before the park is ever open and people are out enjoying the day, park employees go out with lights, like can be seen in the video above, checking for cracks in the rides, and making sure the joints are all even. In addition, 150 lifeguards and 90 water attendants make sure rules are followed and inspections are precise.

But thousands of children are hurt every year on amusement and water rides. According to a 20-3 study by the Nationwide Children's Hospital, head and neck injuries were the most common.

Bill Frazier, Aquatic Operations Manager at the park, said, "Any business when something happens to another business, we've got to take that seriously and look at it. We do and we look at what happens and see... Is there a chance that could happen here? And we're going to look at our operations and how we work."

Frazier says one of the most important things they look out for are scratches on the slides. They can hurt the next person coming down by pulling at skin and causing cuts.

So far, Massanutten has never had a death in the waterpark and most injuries fall in the range of a sprained ankle or a scrape. But they worry about a fear factor becoming associated with parks after the recent incident.

"You always have to judge a park individually, we go through our safety protocals based on what we know our operations need to happen," said Frazier. "So, come enjoy the day. If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask a supervisor or a manger here."

850 miles away from the Kansas incident, supervisors at Massanutten are keeping a close eye on the investigation, as a nation also waits to find out exactly what killed Caleb Schwab.