Heather Clare, a mother of three from New York, issued a warning on Sunday, June 24: Riding down slides with kids is dangerous. To prove her point, Clare, 35, shared a photo of herself and daughter Meadow, then 12 months old, at a playground in September 2015.
“This picture is the moment her leg was breaking,” wrote Clare on Facebook. “She is still smiling . . . because it was happening at this exact moment.”
At the emergency room, the doctor who treated Meadow — she had a fractured tibia and fibula — explained to Clare that he sees this type of injury all the time. “He advised there is no safe way to go down a slide with a child on your lap,” Clare tells Us Weekly. “He said that the weight of a person, even a sibling, behind the child doesn’t allow them to stop if a limb gets caught.”
According to a 2017 study, an estimated 352,698 children under the age of 6 were injured riding a slide while on a parent’s lap in the United States between 2002 and 2015. The size and weight of the adult plays a large part in the potential of injury, per the paper that was presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference last year. The force generated by the forward momentum of a caretaker with a child on their lap is great enough to easily break a bone if the child’s foot gets caught.
Clare, a school psychologist, tells Us that whenever she sees a parent whizzing down a slide with their child, she intervenes. “I explain what happened to us and sometimes show them the picture if I have my phone with me,” she revealed. “Everyone is shocked to hear how common it is.”
Clare’s Facebook post has been shared 51,000 times.
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