• Children's Center

    Mayo Clinic Minute: A warning to parents about sliding with kids

Ever put a kid on your lap for a trip down a slide? While you may think that makes sliding safer, new research suggests it could increase the risk for injury.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, hundreds of thousands of children were injured on slides in the U.S. from 2002 through 2015, and many of those injuries were leg fractures caused by sliding with an adult.

Dr. Steven Maher, an emergency medicine specialist, explains the risks.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

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"Ready?" a dad asks as he gets set for a trip down a slide with his toddler on his lap.

It's  the wrong way to go down a slide. And here’s why: According to new findings presented to American pediatricians, riding a slide on a parent’s lap increases the risk of injury to the child.

"Basically injuring and fracturing their lower leg," says Dr. Steven Maher, who was not part of the study. "And with the parent’s weight behind them, it actually causes increased force on the foot and ankle and causes fractures at that point."

According to researchers, of kids under 6 years old, toddlers ages 12 to 23 months had the highest percentage of injuries. The most common injury was a fracture, usually resulting from the lower leg being twisted or bent backward while sliding.

Dr. Maher’s advice is to monitor kids closely, but let them slide solo.

"They are more flexible, and they have less weight," he says. "And, therefore, they are less likely to have a fracture."