Perhaps you’ve heard that you shouldn’t go down the slide with your child on your lap, and filed the idea away as something a little overzealous? This mum’s keen to prove – with photographic evidence – why this warning should not be ignored.
We wrote about this issue fairly recently and a lot of mums and dads were kind of miffed. Cries of ‘fun police’ and people scoffing that ‘they’ve been doing this for years’ were rife. Granted sliding with a kid on your lap can be fun – and can indeed go off without a hitch – but sometimes it doesn’t.
Heather Clare explains in her annual Facebook public service announcement what happens when sliding with your child goes terribly wrong.
“When Meadow was 12 months old … I went down the slide with her on my lap and her foot got caught between me and the slide. This picture is the moment her leg was breaking. She’s still smiling … because it was happening at this exact moment.” Shudder.
Heather also explains that as they speedily slid, she realised what was happening and tried to pull Meadow away from the slide’s edge, to no avail. This is why the pair look even wonkier in the photo. Meadow was originally centred on her lap, but the force of their slide repositioned her.
So every year I do a PSA on going down a slide with your child on your lap. When Meadow was 12 months old (I went down…
Know better, do better
Of course, with Meadow badly injured, they headed straight off to hospital and Heather faced a stern telling off from the medical staff.
The “doctor lectured me on how common this injury is. I had no idea. I thought everyone took their kids down the slide,” Heather explains.
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Heather said had she known better, she could have done better, but the risk of an injury like this is either brushed off – or simply not talked about.
“I strongly feel every playground should have a warning sign,” Heather says, “but since I’ve never seen one (and we go to a lot of playgrounds), I share this picture every year in hopes that the pain Meadow felt and the guilt that I still feel will save other babies and parents from the same.”
Thousands upon thousands of injured kids
The statistics confirm what Heather – and others – are preaching, although a lot of parents aren’t keen to pay attention.
- Recent research tells us that in the US, 352 698 kids under the age of six were injured on slides between 2002 and 2015.
- Approximately 40 000 UK kids front up at the hospital with injuries sustained in playgrounds. A whopping 20 per cent of these injuries happened on a slide.
- The most common injury sustained on a slide was a fracture, usually to the lower leg, the study’s authors revealed.
Of course, many carers, mums and dads – like Chrissy Teigen – are unaware of the dangers in what looks like a super fun practice.
Heather’s PSA is a compassionate but important warning to them.
“Don’t ever go down a slide with a baby on your lap. There is no safe way to go down a slide with your little one,” Heather says.