The Fun Police have spoken. Sliding with your kids is out.
Yes, those slippery dips housed at every outdoor park around the world, are now considered too dangerous for little ones if mum or dad rides with them.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released a report warning parents to slide-dink no more. Why? Because riding down a slide with your child can increase the risk of your wee one breaking a leg.
Slides under scrutiny
According to the study, there is always a risk when riding a slide that a child’s foot can get caught on the slide. If solo sliding, the potential for injury is small due to the relatively low force involved.
But add a full-grown adult, and you’re asking for trouble. Especially a heavy one. The momentum and speed of the slide, combined with the weight of the adult means a child’s foot could get trapped and twist backward while sitting on the adult’s lap. This could lead to a break or fracture.
Of course, walking, running, jumping, riding a bike, climbing or doing pretty much ANY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY can do the same thing. Hell, you can even fracture your leg by getting out of bed the wrong way.
But the study fails to mention that.
Bring on the bubble wrap, especially if you have a toddler
The researchers looked at children under the age of six and found that toddlers sustained the most injuries. Most injuries (36 per cent) involved a fracture of the child’s lower leg.
“Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought,” states lead researcher Charles Jennissen, MD, Clinical Professor and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Staff Physician, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.
“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.”
No park play allowed!
So the next time you plan a play date at the park with your kids, be extra cautious when nearing this incredibly dangerous piece of equipment. You never know when it might try and break your child’s leg.
And don’t even think about testing out that tyre swing.
This isn’t the first time an innocent piece of playground equipment has come under fire. Have a look at this child injury report from several New South Wales universities. Turns out, all playground equipment is pretty much off-limits.
I suppose we should just accept that outside play is too dangerous and give the kids the iPad instead. If we let them fiddle with it long enough, maybe they will invent an app that lets them go back to the time of our own childhoods when playing at a park (unsupervised, even) wasn’t a cause for concern.
Sure, we may have tumbled off the slide, fallen from the monkey bars and spewed on the merry-ground once in a while, but, hey, we turned out okay.
While you’re busy avoiding the slide – or not – take a look at these six reasons why it’s important for kids to play outside.