Kids breaking their legs on swirly slides

May 25, 2012 1:31:50 PM PDT
Not just the beaches will be packed this weekend, we can also expect more kids to be on the playgrounds as well.

But there's one common playground injury that you can try and prevent.

The twisty slide, it's one of the best parts of the playground. But it can lead to a surprising injury. When Gavin Mescall was 14 months old, he didn't want to slide alone, so his mom asked him to ride on the lap of his big brother.

"He was sliding with me and then i broke my leg," said Gavin.

For a split second, Gavin's sneaker caught on the slide, his brother's body weight pushed him forward, and Gavin ended up with a broken shin bone.

"It hurt and it was scary too and I feel like I didn't want to go down the slide," adds Gavin.

Parents often put the child on their own lap, thinking it's safer but if that little foot gets stuck, you end up breaking your child's leg.

"This is something we do commonly see," said Dr. John Gaffney.

Dr. Gaffney is the Chief of Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery at Winthrop University Hospital.

He wanted to see exactly how common the injury is.

"Over the last 11 month period I looked at all tibia fractures and what I found is that 14 percent were all sustained on a playground slide," he said.

And he says the fracture is almost always the same, a broken tibia.

So the message for parents let your child go down the slide alone or not at all.

Overall, the kids usually heal fine, but they have to be in a cast for about 4 to 6 weeks.

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