Never do this on a playground slide
SMALL children who go down a slide sitting on an adult's lap can easily wind up with a broken leg, doctors have warned.
A new study due to be presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference in Chicago on Monday found more than 350,000 children under the age of six were injured on slides in the US between 2002 and 2015, and many of those injuries were leg fractures.
Of that group, toddlers aged from 12 to 23 months had the highest percentage of injuries, with the most common injury overall a fracture at 36 per cent.
The study found that in the majority of cases, the fracture occurs when the child's foot catches the edge or bottom of the slide and bends or twists backwards while sitting on a parent's lap.
"Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought," lead researcher Charles Jennissen from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine said in a statement.
"And in most cases I have seen, the parents had no idea that doing so could possibly give their child such a significant injury. They often say they would never have done it had they known."
Prof. Jennissen said the size and weight of adults plays a big role in the potential for injury, as a young child sliding by themselves is unlikely to injure themselves severely even if their foot catches due to the relatively low forces involved.
The force generated by the forward momentum of an adult with a child on their lap is much greater, he said, and can easily break a bone if a child's foot gets caught.
The researchers recommend that children not go down a slide on another person's lap, and parents and caregivers who elect to do so must use "extreme caution" to prevent the child's foot from catching on the surface.