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."

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