On top of watching out for creepy strangers and making sure your kid plays nice with the other kids, you’ve got to be extra careful when he’s on the slide. You’d think that by putting your child on your lap when you’re going down a slide would be safe, but really it could injure him. According to The New York Times, children going down a slide with their parent are at risk for fractures. Orthopedic specialists say a number of toddlers and young children are treated for broken legs because they rode down a slide on their mom or dad’s lap. In fact, researchers found that 14 percent of pediatric leg fractures over 11 months involved this method of play.
So why does riding down a slide with a parent have a greater fracture risk than if a sliding alone? Well, if a child’s foot gets caught on the slide, he can stop sliding to free himself. But if he’s sliding with a parent, the adult’s weight may make it harder to stop or for his leg to be freed. Most of the fractures reported by the researchers involved children under three years old.
Instead, doctors suggest allowing your child to slide by himself, but with close supervision. Stand at the side of the slide to make sure your kid is riding down safely. If you still want to ride down the slide with your tot (even though it’s not recommended), remove your child’s shoe or make sure his legs don’t touch the edges of the slide.
Does this make you nervous about going to the playground? Will you stop sliding with your tot?