With the sun keeping up its appearance this week, it’s a given that parents and families will go to parks to entertain their kids while enjoying the warm weather. But one mum is urging parents to be aware of a major error she made at the park with her toddler several years back.
Heather Clare, from the US, is warning parents about the danger of going down a slide with a child on your lap, after her daughter’s leg broke. She explained when her daughter Meadow was one years old, her foot got caught between her mum and the slide.
“This picture is the moment her leg was breaking,” Clare wrote on Facebook on 25 June. “When we went to the hospital, the doctor lectured me on how common this injury is. I had no idea. I thought everyone took their kids down the slide.”
Clare wrote that she “strongly feels” every playground should have a warning sign about this, but she has never seen one. Instead, she decides to share the image of her daughter every year to raise awareness on social media.
“I hope the pain Meadow felt and the guilt that I still feel will save other babies and parents from the same,” she wrote. “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.”
Clare’s post has been shared more than 81,000 times and had more than 15,000 comments. “I cannot believe this and feel like a bad parent for doing that,” one mum wrote. “I thought I was helping my child by going down with them.”
Another dad commented: “This is a very good post for parents, I will share now. I had no idea and will never be doing it again with my little Jack.” Many other parents tagged in their friends and families to alert them of the warning.
In September 2017, parents were warned about the danger of going down slides with kids on their lap, after a study found it can increase the risk of injury. The US study found that the most common type of playground injury was a fractured lower leg. In the majority of these cases, they said the fracture happened when the child’s foot catches the edge or bottom of the slide, then twists and bends backward while sitting on a parent’s lap.
At the time, Katrina Phillips, CEO, Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) told HuffPost UK: “It makes sense that if a child’s foot or leg gets stuck on the slide the weight of the adult is likely to cause more damage. Little ones are often reluctant to get on by themselves, so it’s natural for parents to want to encourage them. It’s helpful to know how common this sort of injury is so that parents can be more vigilant or decide to catch their child at the bottom rather than get on themselves.”