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Broken legs on the playground

Which piece of equipment on a playground do you think could cause a broken leg? Swings, monkey bars, and jungle gyms are surprisingly not to blame. The slides, even when used correctly can cause serious harm to your little one, especially if you go down the slide with the child on your lap.

The child’s shoe can get caught on the side of the slide, and since you are restricting your child’s movement as you go down the slide, the leg gets bent and can cause it to break.

Unfortunately, there is almost little than can be done to stop this from happening due to the speed that the parent and child are going down the slide. 

Dr. John Gaffney, a pediatric orthopedist at Winthrop University Hospital in New York, saw so many toddlers with broken legs that he decided to try to figure out what was causing the problem.

Out of 58 children who had broken their tibias, 13 did so, on a playground slide. Of those 13, all were riding on someone’s lap while they went down the slide.

Dr. Gaffney explained that ”if a toddler is riding by himself and gets his leg stuck against the side of the slide, he can stop himself pretty easily, but with the parent's weight added in, you've got greater velocity and momentum and it’s harder to stop.”

To prevent your child from this type of injury, have your child ride the slide by themselves, possibly holding their hand as they go down the slide.