Mum's warning after playground mistake leaves toddler with broken leg

·News Reporter
·3-min read

Parents are being warned against riding down a playground slide with their infant child on their laps.

The seemingly innocent action is incredibly dangerous and left one little boy with a broken leg, but his mum, Jean, admitted she had no idea of the danger.

"Here I was, a mum of 18 months, thinking how sweet to put my toddler on my lap for additional support," she wrote in post on Instagram.

"Boy, was I wrong and learned the hard way. Five short months after he started walking he had a broken leg from lapping it on a slide!"

Mum mommawillteach on playground slide with son (left) toddler sitting with broken leg (right)
The mum said she had no idea how dangerous going down the slide together was until her toddler broke his leg at the playground. Source: Instagram

The US mum shared a video of them going down the slide together - something many parents do. But the clip cuts off right before his leg gets caught on the slide, resulting in serious injury.

Sarah Hunstead, founding director of CPR Kids, said there's definitely an increased risk of injury when parents slide with kids on their lap.

"Their lower limbs may get caught between you and the slide, potentially resulting in bone fractures," she told Yahoo News Australia.

"It’s best to let your child slide down by themselves, and [use] age-appropriate playground equipment."

If you do choose to go down the slide together though, "ensure that their limbs can’t get caught between you and the slide," she added.

Speaking from her own experience, Joan explained "the relative force is much greater because of additional weight."

"This means, you're going down the slide at a much faster speed, making the chance of a broken bone more likely if the child's foot catches on the slide's surface," she said, citing researchers at the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A young boy having fun sliding down a slide on a sunny day at a playground in Bushy Park London.
It's advised kids should be going on a playground slide alone and not with a parent. Source: Getty

Joan said she wished she'd known the risk before she took to the slide and added it should be something parents are informed about.

The mum urged other parents to wait until their child is able to use the slide on their own.

"Let your little one go down the slide by themselves, when their core strength is strong enough," she said.

Increase in slide-related injuries

Last month, a four-year-old girl broke both her legs after riding tandem down the slide with her dad at a recently opened playground in Shoalhaven, New South Wales.

Her mum took to Facebook seeking the local community experience and within 24 hours found at least 30 other parents whose kids had suffered too.

The frequency and severity of incidents occurring on slides are more than we should expect from a visit to the local playground, according to a report by The Conversation.

In 2016, an Adelaide giant tube slide complex was closed only months after opening, after a spate of serious injuries including knee fractures and dislocations.

And in 2018, a Sydney playground was closed after "horrific" injuries were reported by parents including more broken legs. The Stockland playground reportedly cost $2.3 million to build but was also forced to close.

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