Girl With Diabetes Banned From Water Slide, Officials Apologize

August 17, 2017 Updated: October 5, 2018

A mother cried foul after her 12-year-old daughter was banned from a water slide because of her medical device. The responsible officials apologized and promised rectification.

Beth McBride accused the public Adventure Reef Water Park in Kettering, Ohio, of violating the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) after one of the lifeguards banned her daughter, Alexis, from a water slide.

Alexis has type one diabetes and wears an insulin pump attached to her hip. The device is waterproof and made to withstand water activities, McBride told Fox 45.

“It was that one slide and that one lifeguard, that when I walked up there she pointed at my insulin pump and said you cannot go on the slide with that on,” Alexis said.

Alexis is already self-conscious about the device and this was the first time she was wearing a two-piece bathing suit, making the device visible.

“She was in tears and upset, as she has every right to be,” McBride said. “I mean she was discriminated against basically.”


The ADA stipulates that people with disabilities can’t be denied public service because of their disability.

McBride said the lifeguard didn’t explain why Alexis’s device was a problem. The lifeguard just told the girl to take it off to ride.

But Alexis needs to always wear the device or else she could die, her mother said.

McBride spoke to the park managers on Monday, night, Aug. 14, and said they took down an incident report.

The city of Kettering has since released the following statement:

“After thorough review of the incident, Alexis should have been permitted to use the slides at Adventure Reef Water Park. We are grateful that Alexis and her mother met with us to review their experience. We apologize to Alexis and her family. Our next step is to provide additional staff training.”

This was not the first incident of service denial to a person with a disability at the park.

On June 24, Helen Bouchard, 11, was told by a lifeguard she couldn’t ride a slide unless she took off her prosthetic leg.

“How humiliating for her and can you imagine the stare from all the other people if she would have taken her prosthetic off?” her mother, Amy Bouchard wrote in a Facebook post on June 27.

The mother tried to reason with the lifeguard to no avail.

“He said that management discussed it and decided that her leg would scratch the slide therefore posing a hazard for the other patrons who could get a sliver from that,” she told The Epoch Times over Facebook.

Bouchard took issue with that explanation, because her daughter has ridden the slide multiple times that day already. Only after a lifeguard change was the girl denied.

“I did ask them to update their website with information to make everyone aware that they don’t allow prosthetics,” she said. “I requested that they be specific as many people have prosthetics in various spots of their bodies.”

Bouchard said her daughter, who is very active in sports, hasn’t had such an issue at the many other water parks across the country.

Update: The city of Kettering has responded to the case of Helen Bouchard. “In that instance the patron should have been permitted to use the slides,” stated Stacy Wall Schweikhart,
the city’s community information manager, in an email.

Follow Petr on Twitter: @petrsvab