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One mama's viral post highlights a surprisingly common slide hazard

Going down on an adult's lap increases a child's risk of leg fractures.

One mama's viral post highlights a surprisingly common slide hazard

Your baby is big enough to go to the playground, but not quite brave enough to tackle the side on their own. That's why many babies and toddlers take their first trip down the slide on mom or dad's lap, but one mom's viral post is urging parents to send the kids down solo or not at all to prevent a surprisingly common injury.

Heather Clare's now 4-year-old daughter Meadow was 12 months old when the duo took a mother-daughter trip down the slide and unfortunately ended up in the ER. A photograph taken by Clare's husband that day captured the exact moment Meadow's leg got stuck on the side of the slide and broke.

Clare shares the photo on her Facebook account annually in the hopes of letting other parents know what the ER doctors told her: This kind of slide injury happens a lot, and doctors recommend children use slides alone, not on a parent's lap.

"I want parents to understand that there isn't a safe way to ride with your children and that this is a super common injury," Clare tells Motherly.

According to a 2017 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child's risk of injury increases when they slide while on their parent's lap. Researchers found kids' feet often catch on the edge of the slide when riding down in this way. With mom or dad still sliding beneath them, the leg bends backward and fractures.

"Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought," says lead researcher Charles Jennissen, a pediatric emergency medicine staff physician. "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."

Chrissy Teigen is an example of one mom who didn't know about this risk until internet commenters criticized a photo of her and daughter Luna sliding together. Criticism after the fact though isn't helpful, but proactive warnings can be.

That's why Clare is advocating for signage at playgrounds to advise parents that children should not go down the slide with mom or dad.

"I really want to see signs on playgrounds that warn against riding together. I have seen signs about ages for playgrounds, but I specifically want to see signs that warn not to ride together," she tells Motherly.

Now a mom of three, Clare takes a different playground approach with her youngest than she initially did with Meadow and her twin brother Matthew, because she has the information to do so. Her 10-month-old daughter is just about to enter the age range the AAP says is most commonly injured on slides, 12 to 23 months.

"I will put her on a slide, but only as high as I can hold her from the side and guide her down," Clare explains.

She's making different choices now because she knows the risks. And thanks to her viral Facebook post, many more mamas do, too.

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My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

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