(April 22, 2013) – In honor of National Playground Safety Week (April 22-26), doctors at Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) want to help prevent children from experiencing broken lower leg fractures while going down playground slides. Doctors warn parents not to place a child on their lap while going down a slide.
“Adults seeking to protect a child from injury on a sliding board often slide down the board with the child between their legs. However, if a child is wearing a rubber-soled shoe, their foot catches and then the weight of mom and dad riding behind them results in a broken leg for the child,” says Edward Holt, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at AAMC. “When this happens, the foot twists, rotates outward and a fracture spirals its way up the tibia bone. It’s awful for the adult, too, who simply was trying to protect the child,” adds Dr. Holt.
Dr. Holt estimates he sees as many as 10 toddlers each year, all with spiral tibia (lower leg) fractures. “This fracture is entirely preventable,” notes Dr. Holt. He is providing warning posters for local pediatrician offices and a YouTube video alerting parents to the hazard.
Dr. Holt offers the following solutions to prevent these injuries:
• Remove the child’s rubber-soled shoes.
• Let the child slide alone.
• If you slide together, don’t let the child’s feet touch the slide.