How to Protect Children From the Dangers of Playground Slides

Playing Safety Tips for Parents Riding Playground Slides With Their Kids

Heather Clare wants every mom to know the dangers of going down a slide with a child in your lap.

Her daughter, Meadow, was 12 months old when the two headed down a playground slide. A photo shows the baby's foot twisted at a horrible angle.

"In the picture, I'm leaning to the side, trying to release her foot," the mother said. "I didn't know it was broken. When we got off the slide, she was screaming hysterically."

She rushed Meadow to an emergency room, where staff said the child's tibia and fibula were broken. Meadow went home in a bright pink cast.

"A doctor lectured me on how common this injury is," Clare wrote on her Facebook page, where she posts an annual public service announcement about the dangers of holding a child while on a slide. "Don't ever go down a slide with a baby on your lap," she warned.

Medical experts say thousands of children break bones in the same manner. The weight of someone behind the child doesn't allow them to stop if a child's limb gets caught while going down a slide. 

"Emergency room physicians see young children with playground injuries every single day," said Dr. Roshini Raj, an associate professor of medicine at New York University. "The most important thing is to use the appropriate slide for the age of your child. Toddlers should only be on toddler slides. Older children should only be on those appropriate for their age group. Two people should not be going on a slide at the same time, especially on someone's lap."

Meadow, who's now 3, still loves the slide. But now, she always rides by herself.

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