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Kids More Likely To Get Injured On Slides While Sitting On An Adult’s Lap

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Having kids sit on an adult’s lap while going down a slide can easily result in injuries, doctors warn.

Parents often allow children to sit on their laps “without a second thought” while on playground slides, reports. However, a new study found that over 350,000 children in the United States under the age of six suffered injuries caused by slides between 2002 and 2015. Most of the injuries were leg fractures.

Of the total number, the highest percentage of injuries was in toddlers ages 12 to 23 months. The most common injury overall was fracture, at 36%. In the majority of cases, the researchers found, the fractures happened when the child’s foot caught on the edge of the slide as they went down, bending or twisting backwards while sitting on an adult’s lap.

“Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought,” said Charles Jennissen from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, lead author on the study.

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.

The size and weight of the adults played a major role in the potential for injury, because a young child sliding on their own is less likely to injure themselves severely, even if their foot catches on the bottom of the slide, because of the relatively low forces.

The force created by the forward momentum of an adult is much greater than if the child is alone, which can easily break a bone, Jenissen added.

The researchers recommend that parents allow their kid to slide on their own, and for parents who must accompany their children to use “extreme caution” to keep children’s feet from suffering any harm.

The study is due to be presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference in Chicago.

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