New research from the American Academy of Pediatrics has warned parents not to join their little ones when they’re using slides, as it puts them at higher risk of injury.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that bundling your child up in your arms and sitting them on your lap when whizzing down a slide would keep them safe – but the new study claims that when an adult joins the ride, the child will travel faster, generating enough force that impact on a little shin or ankle joint could plausibly snap or fracture the bone.
One of the authors of the study, Dr Charles Jennissen from the University of Iowa, told Mail Online: ‘Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought.’
‘In most cases I have seen, the parents had no idea that doing so could possibly give their child such a significant injury. They often say they would never have done it had they known,’ he added.
In the UK, 1 in 5 A&E admittances of children hurt during a trip to the playground are due to accidents on slides, and of these, around one quarter end in broken bones. Of over 350,000 children under six surveyed, younger children between 12 and 23 months were the most likely to suffer injuries. This may be because of the fragility of their bones, or the increased likelihood of parents wanting to slide down with them.
‘The majority of injuries sustained on slides by infants and young toddlers are lower extremity fractures and sliding down on a parent’s lap is the primary cause of these injuries,’ the AAP study concluded.
This isn’t the first piece of research conducted into the nature of playground injuries. Previous studies have indicated that slide-related incidents are most likely to have been caused by children’s own behaviour, including running into a slide, climbing up the chute or being pushed off the top by another child.
If you want to make sure your child stays safe in the playground, be sure to supervise them closely whilst on and around equipment, whilst avoiding the increased risk that’s thought to be incurred by using it with them.