You’re always careful with your kids at the park. But what if the thing you think is keeping them safe is actually putting them at risk for serious injury?
You’re at the park with your toddler. After three hours (okay, fine, maybe it was five minutes) of swinging — with you pushing the whole time — she decides she’s ready for the slide. You make your way over to the play structure.
How it happens
|Although going down the slide with a child on your lap may seem like an enjoyable moment for both of you, you may be putting your child in danger|
Almost 14 percent of tibia fractures — that’s the larger and stronger of the two bones in the leg below the knee — in toddlers ages 14 to 32 months were sustained while sliding down a slide on an adult’s lap, according to a recent study in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics.
Either let your toddler go down the slide on her own, or don’t let her go down it at all.
Avoiding playground injuries
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons also offers other tips to avoid playground injuries:
- Avoid playgrounds that have concrete, asphalt, hard-packed soil, or grass. The surface should be made of wood chips, mulch, or shredded rubber for play equipment up to seven feet high.
- Steer children to age-appropriate playground equipment.
- Check to see that there is enough space for kids to easily get off the slide or merry-go-round. Don’t let kids crowd around the exit areas.
- Try the handgrips to verify they are shaped and sized for easy grasp.
- Swing seats should be made of plastic or rubber. Avoid metal or wood.
- Avoid any equipment that has openings that could entrap a child’s head.
- Be sure you can clearly see your children on the playground. The kids should have clear, unobstructed views from their height.
- Remove tripping hazards such as exposed concrete footings, tree stumps, or rocks.
For more on keeping kids safe:
- Expert advice and ways to teach kids to avoid abductors
- Teaching street smarts to kids
- Keeping your cool when kids act out