Parents have been warned to be vigilant of the potential dangers posed by going down a slide with their child, after a study found it can increase the risk of injury.
The US study found that the most common type of playground injury was a fractured lower leg. In the majority of these cases, the fracture happened when the child’s foot catches the edge or bottom of the slide, then twists and bends backward while sitting on a parent’s lap.
This prompted headlines telling parents to “never” go down a slide with a child, but in reality, it’s more about practising common sense.
Katrina Phillips, CEO, Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) told HuffPost UK: “It makes sense that if a child’s foot or leg gets stuck on the slide the weight of the adult is likely to cause more damage. Little ones are often reluctant to get on by themselves, so it’s natural for parents to want to encourage them.
“It’s helpful to know how common this sort of injury is so that parents can be more vigilant or decide to catch their child at the bottom rather than get on themselves.”
Charles Jennissen, lead researcher from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine said: “Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought.
“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.”
Jennissen said that a young child sliding by themselves is unlikely to get a severe injury to their leg even if the foot catches due to the relatively low forces involved. He said the force generated by the forward momentum of an adult with a child on their lap is “much greater”.
The study’s researchers recommended that adults and teens not…