Heather Clare figured there was no harm in putting her 1-year-old daughter in her lap and taking her down a slide during a family outing at a local park. 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'. "There is no SAFE way to go down a slide with your little", she wrote in her latest post about the photo.
"We were really shocked to find out how common that injury is", said Clare.
Clare rushed her daughter to the emergency room, where they found multiple fractures in the baby's right leg.
Writing on Facebook alongside a graphic picture of the moment it happened, Heather Clare explained: 'So every year I do a PSA (public service announcement) on going down a slide with your child on your lap.
Doctors say playground injuries are one of the top three most common things kids come into the emergency room for in the summer months. "And in most cases, I have seen, the parents had no idea that doing so could possibly give their child such a significant injury. I thought everyone took their kids down the slide", she says.
Halfway down the slide, Clare realized Meadow's foot was lodged between her thigh and the slide. She was centered on my lap.
"It was awful, especially feeling like I put her in that position", the mother told PEOPLE.
She also suggests using "two slides, side by side, where you can ride next to your child but you are on a different slide than them".
To prove her point, Clare, 35, shared a photo of herself and daughter Meadow, then 12 months old, at a playground in September 2015. "A recent conversation with other moms inspired me to share it publicly to reach more people".
"Most responses have been positive". One mother is warning others about the dangers of playgrounds with a message that's gone viral on social media. For the record, she says, there's no proper way to hold a child on a slide, because you simply shouldn't be doing it.
Clare's doctor wasn't wrong.
A 2015 study found more than 352,000 children under the age of six were injured on slides in the U.S. between 2002 and 2015, with a large percentage of those injuries leg fractures.
Meadow is now 3 and has made a full recovery since that frightening day at Heckscher Park in Huntington, New York, in 2015.
"Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought", he wrote. I would like to see specific slide safety sign saying not to go down a slide with child in any way'. "They often say they would never have done it had they known".
Parents and carers should therefore avoid going down a slide with young children on their lap, said Jennissen, and those who choose to do so should practice extreme caution to prevent their feet from catching on the equipment.