Sliding with the Kids May Cause Serious Injury

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It seemed only logical that the safest place for a toddler to sit while riding down a slide was in the lap of an adult or older sibling. 

Until now.

A recent discovery by orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Gaffney featured on msnbc.com  revealed that nearly 25% of children who suffered from a fractured shinbone did so while riding down the slide on the lap of an adult or older sibling.

When a child is riding down a slide solo, it is fairly easy for him to stop if he gets his leg caught on the side of the slide. But because of the added weight and momentum when riding together, it becomes harder for a child to stop and when he does, injury may occur Dr. Gaffney explained.

 When visiting the playground, parents and caregivers should follow these 5 safety tips.

  1. Only use play equipment that is designed for the age of the child. Look for signs and labels in play areas that state the age range of children the equipment is designed for. Follow these guidelines to ensure the child is playing on appropriate equipment.
  2. Opt for play structures that are built on pea-stone, mulch, sand or rubber matting. These surfaces are best for absorbing the impact should a child fall.
  3. Avoid clothing with drawstrings. Drawstrings can easily get caught on play equipment which can pose a strangulation hazard.
  4. Be sure equipment is safe.  Equipment should be securely anchored to the ground, s-hooks should be completely closed and bolts should not be exposed.
  5. Choose low-lying play structures. The higher the play structure, the more likely injury is to occur from a fall.
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