Reviewed By: Andrew Gregory, M.D., assistant professor of Orthopaedics & Pediatrics, and Sarah Haverstick, Safe Children Program manager at Children’s Hospital (Last Updated: April 25, 2013)
As the weather finally begins to warm across Middle Tennessee, families may be looking for some outdoor diversions, such as visiting a local park. Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt is offering tips to keep playground visits safe and injury free.
The Tennessee Department of Health reports that more than 260 children were treated in emergency rooms for playground-related injuries in 2011.
Andrew Gregory, M.D., assistant professor of Orthopaedics & Pediatrics, says that many injuries to young children occur on the playground, but one of particular concern occurs when a child is placed on an adult’s lap to go down a slide.
“Parents may think they are protecting their child, by sitting with them on the slide,” Gregory said. “However, the injuries that we see are often the result of the child’s leg being pinned between the adult and the slide, which causes a fracture of the child’s tibia. It is much safer to let young children go down on their own and catch them at the bottom.”
Sarah Haverstick says that other common causes for playground injury include falls from equipment, such as swings or monkey bars.
“It is important to make sure the equipment at your playground is the appropriate size for your child,” Haverstick said. “Younger children may be tempted to use equipment designed for older kids, which may result in falls or other injuries.”
Haverstick offers the following tips to keep children safe:
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