Grand Rapids, MI (WXMI) – The school is out for the summer for most children and many families will spend their time outdoors at the park. A mother warns others against the dangers of playgrounds with a viral message on social media.
Doctors say that injuries in playgrounds are one of the top three things that children arrive in the emergency room. For Heather Clare, her message is accompanied by a photo illustrating the moment when her daughter's leg was broken as she descended the slip.
"I took Meadow on the slip and [my husband] arrived just to literally catch the moment" The photo taken by Clare's husband in 2015 shows his daughter's foot stuck between her leg and the toboggan , breaking her shin and fibula
"It's never a good idea to," said Jennifer Hoekstra, an injury prevention specialist at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. "The weight of an adult or a brother behind this young child on the slide can be just enough to keep propelling him even if his foot or leg falls on the slip."
Hoekstra says that the wounds in the playgrounds the country to the emergency room every year.
"This number is crazy for me, but it's also important to understand as much as it's a fun place, we have to do it right," said Hoekstra. Clare shared the photo as a warning to other parents and it was shared nearly 100,000 times, including by a fire department here in western Michigan. "We were really shocked to find out how common this injury is"
"If the monkey bars are there and they make you nervous as a mom or dad, stay away from the monkey bars," said Hoekstra. "If the slide seems abrupt, find another place to play."
Hoekstra says you have to trust your instinct as a parent. If you do not think your child is old enough to do it by himself, then do not let him do it even if you are trying to help.
"I encourage parents to really know the area, know how to slide it, know the playground and see what is appropriate at the age," Hoekstra said. "If you do not feel good about it, make it the activity of next summer." It's really important to know your child's level. "
Doctors say injuries caused by slips and monkey bars are the most common and they see a lot of broken arms and legs because of this. They also say that you should not let your kids wear hooded sweatshirts with the strings because these can often be caught in the equipment. The same goes for bicycle helmets since the straps can also be caught.
Meadow Clare had to do physiotherapy for six months after she broke her leg. She is fine now, but needs to see a doctor once a year to make sure her legs grow at the same rate.