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Parents should not hold a child on lap on a playground slide

May 1, 2013 at 12:19 AM   |   Comments

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NASHVILLE, May 1 (UPI) -- As one of the coldest springs warms up and families spend more time at playgrounds, U.S. pediatricians warn the play areas often result in child injury.

Dr. Andrew Gregory, assistant professor of orthopedics & pediatrics at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said many injuries to young children occur on the playground, but one of particular concern occurs when a child is placed on an adult's lap to go down a slide.

"Parents may think they are protecting their child, by sitting with them on the slide," Gregory said in a statement. "However, the injuries that we see are often the result of the child's leg being pinned between the adult and the slide, which causes a fracture of the child's tibia. It is much safer to let young children go down on their own and catch them at the bottom."

Sarah Haverstick, Safe Children Program manager at Children's Hospital, said it is important to make sure the equipment at your playground is the appropriate size for your child.

Haverstick also suggested:

-- Check the playground for hazards such as rusted or broken equipment, glass or debris.

-- Choose, if possible, a playground with protective surfacing underneath equipment – such as sand, mulch or rubber.

-- Use equipment appropriately, only one child on the slide at a time, no lap-sitting, one child on each swing, etc.

-- Remove head and neck drawstrings from your child's outerwear to avoid strangulation hazards.

-- Teach children proper playground behavior; no pushing, shoving or crowding on equipment.

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