What Is One Of The Biggest Playground Injury Risks For Toddlers? It Involves You!
It’s always fun to bring your little ones to the playground with the swings, climbing and slides. Well doctors are seeing more and broken legs on toddlers who visit playgrounds with adults. It turns out your best intentions as a parent could lead to injury for your child. This story explains why the thing you need to avoid joining your toddler on is the big-kid slide (although I would shy away from too many “under-dogs” too)!
When your toddler is clamoring to ride down the big-kid slide at the playground, most parents assume that the safest thing to do is put her on your lap and ride down with her. But orthopedists say that doing so puts small children at risk for broken legs — and it happens far more frequently than you’d think.
Parents may not notice when their child’s shoe catches on the side of the slide for a second or two, but that, combined with the speed at which the parent and child are zipping down the slide, can create enough friction to break the child’s shin bone (tibia). Instead, what parents do notice is that at the bottom of the slide, instead of laughing with joy, the child is whimpering or screaming in pain.
“My wife was just trying to keep Hannah extra safe and make sure she didn’t fall,” Jed Dickman told the New York Times. His 18-month-old daughter’s sneaker snagged on the slide, and by the time his wife freed it the child’s tibia had fractured. “She felt very guilty about it.”
Amy Canterella had a similar experience in 2009, when her daughter was 18 months old. “I was horrified,” she told MSNBC. “I thought I was making her safer. I’d never heard this sort of thing could happen.”
Dr. John Gaffney, a pediatric orthopedist at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., saw so many toddlers with broken legs that he decided to try to figure out what was causing the problem.