For all of the fun (and sanity for moms) that parks and playgrounds provide, they also present plenty of dangers. Most of them I thought I knew about -- things like slides that get too hot and can cause severe burns and falls from equipment. There's one danger, however, I've never even considered, and it's something I see parents do all the time -- myself included.
In fact, parents are usually doing it because they think it will keep their children safer. Any guesses as to what it is?
It's going down a slide with a child on your lap. Whether they're just learning, or because you think that big tornado slide is just too dangerous for them on their own, or just because it's fun, many parents just put their kiddo on their lap, and down they go. Good times for all ... until someone gets hurt. And apparently a lot of kids do get hurt while doing this. It seems the rubber soles of their shoes can get stuck while going down the slide, but then weight of the adult can crush their legs, resulting in fractures and breaks.
A recent column in the New York Times highlighted the danger, and pointed to a study from Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., found that nearly 14 percent of pediatric leg fractures in an 11-month were a result of this practice.
Is it an epidemic? No, but it is something that's easily preventable, and all parents should at least have a head's up about it. One physician -- Dr. Edward Holt, an orthopedic surgeon at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis -- is so concerned about the practice, that he created the following video to inform parents just how it happens. It certainly doesn't mean you should stay away from the playground, but it is worth a watch before you head out the next time.
Has your child ever been injured on a slide in this manner? What other playground injuries have they received?
Image via Shlomi Fish/Flickr