Mom warns about dangers of playgrounds after daughter breaks leg on slide

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(WFLA) – A Long Island mother hopes a disturbing photo will prevent kids from experiencing what her daughter went through at the playground.

Every year, Heather Clare posts a PSA to her Facebook page warning parents about the dangers of going down a slide with a child on their lap.

When Heather’s daughter Meadow was 12 months old, Heather carried her on her lap while going down a slide. Little Meadow’s foot got caught between her mom and the slide.

“This picture is the moment her leg was breaking.  She’s still smiling… because it was happening at this exact moment,” said Heather in her Facebook PSA.

Heather said that when they went to the ER, the super empathetic doctor lectured her on how common the injury is.

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“I had no idea. I thought everyone took their kids down the slide,” Heather told WFLA.com.

“I strongly feel every playground should have a warning sign, but since I’ve never seen one (and we go to A LOT 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. 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,” Heather said.

She added that slide injuries are one of the top three reasons young children are seen in the ER during the spring and summer months.

Meadow will be 4 in September. Heather said she posted this every year, but this is the first time she’s shared it publicly. She said the majority of people have been thankful for the awareness.

Playground injury statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

  • 0-4 year olds are often injured on swings and slides.
  • 5-9 year olds are often injured on swings, monkey bars, and climbing equipment.
  • 10-14 year olds are often injured on swings, monkey bars, and climbing equipment.
  • 5 to 14 year olds sustain traumatic brain injuries more frequently at school.

The CDC offers these tips for playground safety

  • Check that playgrounds have soft material under them such as wood chips, sand, or mulch.
  • Read playground signs and use playground equipment that is right for your child’s age.
  • Make sure there are guardrails in good condition to help prevent falls.
  • Look out for things in the play area that can trip your child, like tree stumps or rocks.

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