Injury risk for kids sliding down with their parents

Children riding slides while on a parent's lap increases risk of injury, finds study

Children riding slides while on a parent's lap increases risk of injury, finds study

An estimated 352,698 children under the age of six were injured on slides in the United States between 2002 and 2015, and many of those injuries were leg fractures.

Playground slides can be risky, when young children ride on a parent's lap.

A study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics has found children using slides are far more likely to injure their lower leg or shinbone when on a parent's lap.

Many of those injuries were leg fractures.

The study findings were scheduled for presentation September 18 at the American Academy of Pediatrics meeting in Chicago.

The results showed toddlers aged 12 to 23 months, who are often taken on an adult's lap, are the largest age group hurt on slides.

The study found that in the majority of cases, the fracture occurs when the child's foot catches the edge or bottom of the slide and bends or twists backwards while sitting on a parent's lap. "They often say they would never have done it had they known", he added in a news release from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In Britain an estimated 40,000 children every year are taken to A&E having been injured in a playground, with more than one in five cases caused by slides.

The size and weight of adults apparently plays a big role in the potential for injury.

Lead researcher Dr. Charles Jennissen, a pediatric emergency physician at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, says a young child sliding by themselves is unlikely to get a severe leg injury, even if their foot catches. Few studies have examined the mechanisms and injuries associated with slide-related injuries in the preschool child. However, he states that the force generated by the forward momentum of an adult with a child on their lap is much greater, and can easily break a bone if a child's foot gets caught on the slide.

Adults and teens should not go down slides with a child on their lap, the researchers advised. Methods: Playground slide injuries in children 5 years of age and younger from 2002-2015 were identified (N=12,686) using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a system that prospectively collects injury data from a stratified sampling of emergency departments from across the nation. Overall, 59% were male.

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