Family

'Don’t ever go down a slide with a baby on your lap': Mum shares a graphic warning about playground safety

New York mother, Heather Clare shares a photo taken at the exact moment her one-year-old daughter, Meadow snapped her leg while going down a slide on her mum's lap as a warning to other families.

By Rebel Wylie

When your child is little, nursing them on a slippery dip might feel like a safe option. I mean, have you seen how kids fly down those things?

However, a 35-year-old New York mum of three, Heather Clare wants you to know that nursing your child on a slide is not the safer option.

Every year, Clare takes to Facebook to share a graphic image of the exact moment her sweet baby girl's leg snapped while doing just that.

Clare's annual; "Don't ever go down a slide with a baby on your lap" PSA is born out of knowing personally just how quickly things can go wrong.

It can hapen in seconds

In September 2015, Clare took her one-year-old twins Matthew and Meadow to a playground. The park signage indicated the park was recommended for kids aged five years and older, so Clare decided she'd better help the kids navigate the equipment.

Initially taking Matthew down the slide without a problem, Clare then popped little Meadow on her lap for a turn as well. That's when things went tragically wrong. As Clare was holding her daughter during the descent, she felt her foot catch.

Clare's husband, Brian, was snapping photos at the bottom of the slide, and managed to capture the exact moment things went horribly wrong. Little Meadow's foot was caught between the slide and Clare's leg, bending completely backwards, and snapping, leaving Meadow with a broken leg.

"This picture is the moment her leg was breaking. She's still smiling ... because it was happening at this exact moment." writes Clare.

Meadow was rushed to a hospital where it was discovered she had suffered a broken tibia and fibula.

Study shows this is highly common

You might expect to grimace while seeing slow motion footage of sports stars snapping their legs like little Meadow, but according to Clare's post it's actually quite a common injury for kids who go down slides with their parents.

"When we went to the ER, the super empathetic doctor lectured me on how common this injury is. I had no idea. I thought everyone took their kids down the slide." shares Clare.

An American study published last year found that an estimated 352,698 children under six-years-old were hurt on slides in America from 2002 through 2015 — many of those injuries were broken legs and toddlers between 12 and 23 months had the highest percentage of injuries.

Overall, the most common injury was a fracture at 36 percent, usually involving the lower leg, a release on the study said. And you guessed it, that usually happens 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."

"Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought," said lead researcher Dr. Charles Jennissen. "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."

This is why Clare continues to share her story; "I strongly feel every playground should have a warning sign, but since I've never seen one (and we go to ALOT of playgrounds), I share this picture every year in hopes that the pain Meadow felt and the guilt that I still feel will save other babies and parents from the same." she says.

"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."