You know us: we’re very cautious when it comes to super-scare-mongering, safety-related headlines.
But looking at the findings of this latest US study – from the University of Iowa – we reckon this is a safety story all parents need to know about.
The US researchers have found that going down the slide with your child – as opposed to letting them go down alone – actually increases the risk of them getting a lower-leg injury.
This especially applies to toddlers between 12 and 23 month old, say the researchers.
It’s not a massive risk in the first place, of course, but now it sounds to us like a risk that’s really not worth taking.
The study specifically looked at the injuries children under 6 (from the US) have suffered on playground slides, and found that toddlers had the “higher percentage” of injuries.
The most common injury sustained by a child on a slide is – yikes – fracture of the lower leg. And, in the majority of cases looked at in the study, this happens when a child is sitting on their parent’s lap: the little one’s foot gets caught on some part of the slide, and then either twists or bends backwards.
And, as there’s more ‘force’ behind the sliding motion when you add your grown-up weight into the mix, that’s why the injury is worse.
“Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought,” said lead researcher Dr Charles Jennissen, Clinical Professor and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Staff Physician, at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.
“And, 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.”
Well, that’s a relief isn’t it ???
So, what does all that mean for us? The mums (and dads) out there on the playground, just trying to do right by our little ones?
The researchers basically recommend that we let our little ones ride solo on the slide – or, if we do want to slide down with them, be extremely careful to prevent the child’s foot catching on the slide’s surfaces. Simple ?
Share your stories
Reports say that around 40,000 children are admitted into A&E here in the UK every year – but what’s been your experience on playground injuries?