As a mom who has been through it, I feel like I owe you this PSA, even if you don't want to hear it.
With the warm weather and school letting out, I'm seeing more and more families at the park. Nearly every visit, I see the scene: A joyful parent or grandparent climbing up to the top of the slide to let their little one ride down on their lap. Isn't it fabulous- enjoying the fun parts of life with our favorite littles? There is always joy and laughter.
Just minutes before our trip down the slide- an abnormally warm day in November landed us at the park!
However, I remember just over a year ago when it was me on the slide with my toddler. He was just over a year old and had recently began walking with confidence. He wasn't sure, though, about going down the slide by himself and to be honest- I was too scared to let him climb up high and come down alone. So I did what many of us do- I went along for the ride and snuggled him on my lap.
Our joy turned to screaming at the bottom of the slide which turned hours later to a trip to Urgent Care. This trip to Urgent Care landed us in the radiology department for an X-Ray where we learned that our son had broken a bone in his leg. Talk about mom guilt- I was filled with it. My son broke a bone while snuggled in the "safety" of mommy's lap.
Trip to Urgent Care
The doctors we saw didn't seem too surprised, though. They indicated that this is one of the top injuries they see in young toddlers. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, "toddlers age 12-23 months had the highest percentage of injuries." Well-intentioned loved ones don't think about how the force of their heavier bodies can have a greater on the impact on a child. A leg getting twisted or stuck can be injured quickly.
So as much as I love your Instagram stories and Facebook pictures of gleeful trips down the slide, I have to ask you to stop- or at least pause. The top recommendation is to not do it- choose to either let the child go down solo, or to help them from the side of the slide. If you still want to slide together, pause at the top and make sure to position the legs in a way that they will not have contact with the slide to avoid any potential catch or twist.
I just want us to all laugh on- and that means without injuries that send toddlers to the Urgent Care like mine did.
Not so happy about his limitations