It seems simple enough, whimsical even, to take a ride down a playground slide with your little one. Maybe they're not quite big enough to enjoy the slide themselves or have been begging you to enjoy the fun with them, so you oblige. Parents rarely think about the caution that they, themselves, might need to exercise on the playground.
That's why one mom makes an annual post out of the experience she had with her daughter that resulted in a broken bone.
It was an average day at the playground for Heather Clare and her 1-year-old daughter Meadow until it wasn't. When Heather took the little girl down a park slide, someone stood by their side to take a photo of what should have been a sweet moment. Only Meadow's leg got caught on one side of the slide, causing the break.
"When we went to the ER, the super empathetic doctor lectured me on how common this injury is. I had no idea," says the heartbroken mom, whose daughter is now 4-years-old. "I thought everyone took their kids down the slide."
And that's just the thing, it does feel like everyone takes their kids down the slide because so many of us do. Model Chrissy Teigen came under fire for posting a photo of herself on a slide with daughter Luna. It was fairly easy to brush off that attack because the celebrity mom gets shamed for just about everything, When, in fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has come out against slide-sharing.
According to the AAP, approximately 352,698 children under the age of 6 suffered slide-related injuries between 2002 and 2015. They say many of those were leg fractures, similar to Meadow's. Thirteen years may seem like a long span of time, but to think that over 300,000 kids were affected is an awful lot, especially considering their pain could have been avoided if more parents understood the dangers of taking a joy ride of sorts with their kiddos.
For her part, Heather really wants playgrounds to add signs cautioning parents about the hazard. While many post signs with other warnings, the average playground-goer would be hard-pressed to find one that says anything about why a parent shouldn't share the slide with their child.
So as you head out to enjoy the warmth and sunshine, remember it's okay to politely decline when your little one asks you to slide. You could be saving them from an injury that would sideline them from fun for quite some time.