It may seem safer (and frankly, more fun) to let a child try out their first time on a slide by setting them on your lap and going down with them, but apparently it's much more dangerous than it appears.
The study, which is set to be presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition on September 18, found that an estimated 352,698 children less than 6 years of age were injured on slides in the United States from 2002 through 2015, and many of those injuries were leg fractures.
In fact, 36% of children examined in the study had leg fracture injuries, particularly in the lower leg. In most cases, this happened when a child's foot caught onto the edge of the slide and twists and bends backwards on a parent's lap.
If that sounds macabre, well, apparently it happens more often than you'd expect. Presumably, if a child is on a slide on their own, it lessens the likelihood that their bodies would be raised enough for a wayward foot to catch on the edge. Plus, researchers said that the force generated with an adult on the slide is much greater than it would be with just a child on their own.
"Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought," lead researcher Charles Jennissen, MD, clinical professor and pediatric emergency medicine staff physician at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine said in a statement. "And in most cases I have seen, the parents had no idea that doing so could possibly give their child such a significant injury. They often say they would never have done it had they known."
That's not to say, of course, that having a child on your lap automatically puts them at risk — as with many situations, you'll have to use your own discretion.
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