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Slide Safety Tip May Surprise Parents

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Slide Safety Tip May Surprise Parents

Placing your child on your lap when going down a slide is dangerous! Children under 32 months of age commonly suffer tibia fractures when sliding with parents.

As parents we try our best to keep our children safe. From pre-baby childproofing of our homes to selecting safety-approved car seats and cribs to buying the first bike helmet and a variety of knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards,  most parents are super conscientious when it comes to keeping their children safe.

Toddlers move so quickly, we have to be ever vigilant when keeping an eye on them, especially when the weather turns warm and we spend more time outdoors at the playground.

But when it comes to playground safety, there’s one thing parents do that is unintentionally putting their children at risk of a broken leg (tibia, to be exact).

Most of us sit our young babies and toddlers on our laps to slide down the big scary slide. While safety concerns motivate us, researchers warn NOT to go down a slide with your child in your lap.

A study of tibia fractures in children showed that 14 percent of fractures sustained during an 11-month period involved kids going down slides with an adult. The injuries were sustained in children between the ages of 14 months and 32 months. The average age of children sustaining a fracture was around 20 months.

Researchers speculate that when a young child gets a shoe caught on the edge of the slide, the weight of the parent behind them creates a force that fractures the tiny leg before it can be extricated. When children slide alone, they’re able to stop or move around to free themselves before continuing down the slide.

Safety tips for sliding
Most tibia fractures occur in children less than 32 months of age who are sitting in an adult’s lap. To avoid fractures, researchers recommend

  • Let children slide on their own.
  • If children are unable to use the slide by themselves, wait until  they’re old enough to do so.
  • Never go down a slide with a child on your lap.
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