SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - It's in a parent's DNA to want to protect their kids, but one action parents are doing on the playground can cause more harm -- going down the slide with a toddler on their lap.
Orthopedic surgeons say it's an injury they see in toddlers ages 18 months to 36 months.
Dr. Ed Holt with Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) has been working to raise awareness on the issue in hopes of preventing future injuries.
Holt explains that when a rubber-soled shoe touches a slide, it can create enough friction to twist a child's leg. When an adult is behind the child, their weight is enough to force the leg to break, creating a spiral fracture of the lower leg in the tibia bone. He said it's very painful and can require a cast for six weeks.
San Diego mother Margarita Guevara said she is guilty of this and had no idea it could be dangerous.
"My reaction is that I'm very scared; it's a very scary thing," said Guevara.
Parent Emma Elmes said she was also unaware of the danger.
"I hadn't heard of it, but when you mention things like that, it gets your brain thinking," said Elmes. "It is a little bit scary because the last thing you want to do is something simple that could end up breaking your child's leg or doing serious damage."
Many mothers have blogged about the issue in hopes to warn others.
Holt offers three solutions:
- 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