Slide Safety on the Playground

I never would have imagined what a risk a playground slide posed for my daughter. Actually, the slide itself is not the dangerous part- it was me.

Holding CeCe in my lap on a slide seemed like the safest option until I learned about how many young children suffer broken legs each year from this technique. Below is the article I wrote for Baby Bump Lexington about this issue. Please read for safety's sake!

"It’s easy to see the playground as a mine field of potential injuries for your child. But sometimes our safety measures can cause more damage than good.

Sliding down a playground slide with your child in your lap poses a great risk for broken legs. A study at Winthrop University Hospital found that nearly 14 percent of pediatric leg fractures over an 11-month period involved toddlers riding down the slide with a parent.

When a child rides down a slide in an adult’s lap, his foot can get caught between the slide and the parent’s body. The force of the adult’s weight can easily break a child’s leg.

The injury is typically treated with a cast from the foot to above the knee for four to six weeks.

To prevent the injury, pediatricians and orthopedic surgeons say to allow a child to slide by himself. Supervision is safer than actually holding the child.

If his foot gets caught while the child is sliding alone, he can just stop moving or twist around until it comes free.

A young child can be placed halfway down the slide with a parent guiding him down while standing to the side. If a parent insists on holding the child in his or her lap, remove the child’s shoes and keep their feet and legs from touching the slide.

Dr. Edward Holt, an orthopedic surgeon at Anne Arundel Medical Center, created a YouTube video to discuss this injury and prevention. To watch the video and learn more click here."

Sharing Mommy

Some things aren't meant to be shared. Your underwear. Slightly used Kleenex. Intimate details of a colonoscopy. Gum.

And according to my toddler, you can add "My Mommy" to this list.

CeCe has become intensely possessive of dear-old-me lately. If my gaze even lands on an infant, she starts climbing up my lap and redirecting my face with her tiny hands. Her jealousy took a step too far this week, when she physically asserted her claim over me to another child at daycare.

Our sweet little friend at daycare loves to play with my hair and I happily kneel down and let her play Baby Vidal Sassoon. But this crossed some imaginary boundary with CeCe. Even though she was fully occupied with some toy that resembled a camping lantern, once she saw another little girl in my lap, it was on.

I was mortified as I watched my daughter use both hands to push the girl out of the way.
"MY mommy!"

I swiftly took CeCe's hands, repeated my "no's" and "that's not nice" and "we don't push people- EVER."

Imagine if this principle was never learned. I can just see my daughter 30 years from now at a shoe sale. Some unsuspecting size 8 has the last pair of those cute strappy sandals, so CeCe just shoves her over and grabs the box. "MY shoes."

"Sharing is caring" and all that jazz are great ideas, but conveying that to a one-year-old seems difficult. I want CeCe to understand I am her mommy and will always love her more than any other child on the planet (except for future siblings ... oh crap. I see another problem in our path.)


The Miserable Molars

The screaming, the snot, the refusal to sleep- can you blame me for thinking my baby was sick this last week?

CeCe's bad mood and nose-faucet had me thinking a cold was creeping up on my baby. But all it took was me shoving my finger in the back of her mouth to learn I was wrong. There they were, waaaaaaay in the back of her tiny little top gums. One on each side. Those awful molars couldn't even take turns coming in. They both attacked my baby's mouth at once.

First-time parents often start fretting about teeth at the four-month mark. Any unexplained crankiness often gets attributed to impending chompers. But in our case, those first cute little buck-teeth were nothing compared to the misery of molars.

The usual tricks haven't translated well for us into these back teeth. Teething toys or household remedies like the "Frozen Washcloth"can't reach the back of her mouth without gagging. CeCe thinks biting her own finger is a good idea at first, until she actually bites her own finger and realizes teeth are sharp.

We are relying heavily on Orajel or Tylenol, which we didn't use much with her front pearly whites. I remember my dentist offering a prescription for Lortab when my last wisdom tooth was coming in sideways. If the pain of those two tooth tales is comparable, CeCe is in for a tough road.

The silver lining I'm holding onto is that these newest teeth will open the door for some new culinary options. Being able to really chew and grind up solid foods will make meal time a whole new kind of fun.


Horsin' Around

I'm taking bets on how many stitches my daughter will have in her lifetime.

CeCe is wild child to say the least, and she seems to lack the appropriate amount of fear when it comes to heights, sharp objects, or animals with large teeth. The only thing she has ever been afraid of is the vacuum cleaner. And that thing is loud.

No slide is too high, no animal is too intimidating, and she can't get enough of being tossed in the air or feeling like she is about to fall.

This week we took our 1-year-old gal to the Kentucky Horse Park. After seeing how CeCe chases my childhood puppy-turned-old dog, I wondered how she would react to horses. Apparently horses are just giant dogs waiting for her to pet them. Thankfully there were bars separating her tiny hands from those horsey manes just begging to be yanked.

When we set her down, she decided to try to break down the stable door herself:

She spent the afternoon trying to slip through gates and fences to get closer to the horses, and running around a playground meant for much larger children. We had to go down the big kid slides and she had to climb up that plastic staircase herself. But the real kicker came when her cousin got to ride a pony. I could see her eyes turn green with jealousy:

It was a truly enjoyable day. Admission to the Horse Park is $16 for adults, but children 6 and under enter for free. We were entertained for hours, and watching my two babies share this new experience together was better than a Derby win.