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The Shocking Reason You Shouldn’t Ride Down a Slide with Your Kids

posted: 09/18/17
by: Amanda Mushro
mom sliding down the slide with kid
iStock

When you take your kids to the playground you expect to have fun and let your kid burn off a little energy. For younger children, going down a playground slide could be scary or it just seems like more fun if mom or dad joins in on the ride. However, a new study says there is a rise in young children breaking their legs at the playground when an adult goes down the slide with them.

The study, which was presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference, says that approximately 352,698 children under the age of 6 were injured on slides from 2002 to 2015. Of these injuries, 36 percent were leg fractures. Of all the children that had reported injuries, toddlers, who were between the ages 12-23 months, had the highest percentage of injuries, and sadly, many of those were from the children going down a slide with an adult.

"Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought," said lead researcher Dr. Charles Jennissen. "And in most cases I have seen, the parents had no idea that doing so could possibly give their child such a significant injury. They often say they would never have done it had they known."

So why are so many kids being injured? The authors of the study say is has to do with momentum. Younger children will go down a slide much slower than adults. Since the weight of an adult speeds up their momentum down the slide, if a child's leg catches onto the edge or bottom of the slide or gets wrapped under the adult, the momentum can lead to a fracture or break of the child's leg.

If your child is scared to go down the slide alone or you want to keep an extra eye on them as them make their way down the slide, the doctors of the study suggest waiting at the bottom of the slide or standing next to the slide to help children as they make their way down to the bottom.

A study like this is definitely shocking for parents and caregivers to hear, but it does help you make different decisions when you are playing with your kids at a park. After all, on a beautiful day, you are just looking for a trip to the playground and not the emergency room.