September 4, 2009

Holding children on slides risky

Holding a child in your lap while going down a playground slide could increase the risk the child will suffer a broken leg, doctors in Mineola, N.Y., warn.

Many parents think it is actually safer to hold their toddler while going down a playground slide, but this study may prove otherwise, Dr. John Gaffney, an orthopedic surgeon, said of Winthrop University Hospital's findings.

During 11 months of study, doctors at Winthrop found 13.8 percent of tibia fractures in children occurred while sliding down a slide on an adult's lap. The age range of children who suffered tibia fractures on a slide varied from 14 months to 32 months, Gaffney said. The number of children involved in the study wasn't provided.

The injuries typically happen when a child's leg become twisted, creating a torque in the tibia, Gaffney said in a release Friday from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.

Although going down the slide with a child on your lap may seem like an enjoyable moment for both, it can be putting them in danger, Gaffney said.