While public playgrounds can be fun for families, a parent should always exercise caution.
For example, sharing a ride on the slide with your little tot can be the pitfall to a slippery slope. At least it was for Heather Clare, a mother who learned the hard way not to ride-share with her 1-year-old down the slide.
In September 2015, Heather put her 12-month-old, Meadow, on her lap to share a thrilling experience on a slide together in Heckscher Park in Huntington, New York. But it never occurred to her that the weight of her body would be responsible for seriously injuring her daughter.
The rubber sole of Meadow's sneaker caught traction on the side of the slide and the toddler's leg continued to twist as mother and daughter continued to careen down. Meadow sustained a fractured tibia and fibula in her right leg as a result and wore a cast for the following four weeks.
Long Island mom Heather Clare is on a mission to prevent others from suffering the same fate. Every year, she share… https://t.co/emJCfIQIjl— Southampton NY Patch (@Southampton NY Patch) 1530053834.0
Heather posted the picture of the exact moment Meadow was breaking her leg. Overwrought with guilt for her daughter's injury, Heather posted an annual public service announcement warning about child safety, on Facebook.
So every year I do a PSA on going down a slide with your child on your lap. When Meadow was 12 months old (I went down with Matthew first, but he was lucky) , I went down the slide with her on my lap and her foot got caught between me and the slide. This picture is the moment her leg was breaking. She's still smiling... because it was happening at this exact moment.
"When we looked at the picture, we knew right away that her leg was probably broken," Heather Clare told Patch. (vi… https://t.co/Dn3ZfLt1sV— Pottstown PA Patch (@Pottstown PA Patch) 1530114015.0
The doctor told Heather how common the injury was, yet she's never seen signs posted at the park discouraging adults from riding the slide with their children.
When we went to the ER, the super empathetic doctor lectured me on how common this injury is. I had no idea. I thought everyone took their kids down the slide. I strongly feel every playground should have a warning sign, but since I've never seen one (and we go to ALOT 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.
Reactions are mixed. Some believe that parents refraining from sliding together with their child is common sense.
@globalnews @globalnewsto Frightening still are mindless parents - more common the you think - when it comes to par… https://t.co/nSuJjpvW9u— Mona M (@Mona M) 1530129433.0
@TODAYshow Once again, HELICOPTER PARENTS at their finest. Let your kid slide alone! And if you feel they aren’t d… https://t.co/y7ID2bFK44— Nicole Zappile (@Nicole Zappile) 1530102128.0
@globalnews @GlobalEdmonton Kid looked big enough to go down by herself. Thanks mom you broke my leg😡— tarsand turkey (@tarsand turkey) 1530143442.0
Other people were grateful for Heather's PSA and told her not to beat herself up over the accident.
Heather closed her post by clarifying the perception of "common sense" after being accused of sliding in a position that was harmful to her daughter.
For everyone commenting on how I am holding my daughter. We didn't start this way. She was centered on my lap. When I realized what was happening, I used my top hand to try to stop us and leaned to release her foot. I wasn't riding down the slide with her on one side and leaning. That's "common sense."
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 350,000 children under the age of six suffered playground slide injuries in the U.S. between 2002 and 2015. Toddlers between the ages of 12 to 23 months had the highest percentage of injuries, with 36 percent of them being leg fractures.
Three years later, Meadow has recovered fully and is going down slides, solo.
Meadow, happy as can be.(Pinterest)