child on slide
UofL pediatrician Heather Felton, M.D., advises parents to allow children to go down a slide alone. Sliding down with a parent increases chances the child will be injured.

A seemingly simple and fun activity that parents may want to share with their children could have serious medical repercussions, as evidenced by a video currently popular on Facebook.

Sharing a ride down a slide with your child may appear to be fun but it could cause serious injury, said Heather Felton, MD, medical director of the UofL Pediatrics – Sam Swope Kosair Charities Centre. Felton cites a USA Today photo showing a playground accident that broke a 1-year-old girl’s leg, leading to national attention to slide safety for little ones.

In a video shared to Facebook on an incident that took place in 2015, Heather Clare of Huntington, New York, shared footage in which she put her 1-year-old daughter on her lap and took her “down a slide during a family outing at a local park.” The child’s “right foot caught the side of the slide, snapping her tibia and fibula.” In her Facebook post, Clare advocated “for warning signs at playgrounds telling parents not to ride down slides” with their kids.

Felton agrees: “From 2002-15, there were 350,000 children under the age of 5 who were injured on slides, according to the Centers for Disease Control. A 2017 study published in the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that more than 350,000 children younger than 6 years old were injured by going down a slide in the United States between 2002 and 2015,” she said.

“In the majority of cases, children experienced a fracture after their foot caught the edge or bottom of a slide while sitting on a parent’s lap.”

For the safest outcome, Felton said, parents should allow their child to go down slides alone.