Going on a slide with your child is something every parent has done – but one mum is urging parents not to after her son was badly hurt.
Shona Keetley was enjoying a family day out at Rand Farm Park near Wragby but the day ended when her 18-month-old son George had to be rushed to hospital.
She was going down the slide at the park’s soft play centre with little George inbetween her legs, not on her lap.
But as they travelled down the slide, little George trapped his foot under his mum’s leg, the Daily Mirror reports.
To her horror, Shona accidentally snapped her son’s leg as they moved down the slide.
She has now decided to share the gruesome footage of the incident to show other parents exactly what could happen if you take your child on a slide.
In the video, a loud ‘snap’ can be heard as George’s leg breaks as it is accidentally bent under his mum’s leg.
WARNING: This video may be distressing for some people
Shona, from Cleethorpes, decided to release the clip, filmed by her partner James on their day out at Rand Farm Park.
She said: “We had spent the whole day there and were about to set off home but George started screaming because he wanted to go on the slide.
“I told James I would quickly take him down. He was only 18-months-old at the time and I didn’t feel comfortable with him going down by himself. I hadn’t even taken my shoes off because it was only meant to be a quick one.
“Without thinking anything of it I put George between my legs and we went down together. I didn’t even hear his leg snapping until I watched it back on the video.
“I just thought he was shocked at getting it caught. He started crying initially but stopped after a few minutes so I just thought he got his leg caught and nothing else.
“He seemed perfectly fine as he was sitting in the pushchair pointing out things he wanted in the gift shop. We drove home and everything seemed fine. It was only when I put him on the sofa that I realised something was seriously wrong.
“He went to climb off but just collapsed and started crying. He couldn’t stand up so we decided to rush him to the hospital to see what was wrong. I still just thought it was a pulled muscle or a twisted ankle at this point.”
After rushing George to A&E at Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital, Grimsby, X-Ray scans showed the tot had broken his leg.
She said: “I felt like the worst mum in the world. The doctor said this is a really common injury with toddlers. Because he was still young and had flexible bones he was only in a cast for two weeks. I just don’t think people know about the risks.
“George is my first child and I hadn’t been told by anyone about the danger.”
Shona, who is now pregnant with her second son, wants to warn others of the risks posed by indoor play areas.
“There should be clear signs warning parents not to go down the slides with their children,” she said.
“Saying that there should be a minimum age for kids to go on them. I would just urge parents to watch this video and learn from my mistake.”
A study released last year highlighted the dangers for a child sitting on a parent’s lap while going down a slide.
Experts said if a child’s foot catches the slide while sliding by themselves, the potential for injury is small due to the relatively low forces involved.
But when riding with an adult, there’s more forward momentum and speed due to the weight of the adult, meaning a child can easily break a bone if their foot gets caught on the slide.
This often happens when the child’s foot catches the edge or bottom of the slide then twists and bends backwards while sitting on an adult’s lap.
In the UK, an estimated 40,000 children are taken to A&E every year due to a playground injury, and more than 20 per cent of those are caused by slides.
The researchers studied children under six years of age and found that toddlers aged between 12 and 23 months had the most injuries.
The most common injury was a fracture, like George’s, making up 36 per cent of cases and usually involving the lower leg.
“Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought,” states lead researcher Charles Jennissen, MD, Clinical Professor and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Staff Physician, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.
“And in most cases I have seen, the parents had no idea that doing so could possibly give their child such a significant injury. They often say they would never have done it had they known.”