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IT’S A RITE OF PASSAGE: You put your toddler on your lap to go down the slide on a hot day. Harmless summer fun, right? Not so much. A new study at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, NY found that nearly 14 percent of pediatric leg fractures over an 11-month period involved toddlers riding down the slide with a parent. Research revealed that children under 3 riding on an adult’s lap were the ones who suffered fractures.

The best way to prevent injuries? Let your child slide alone as you watch. Or, place him halfway down the slide while you stand nearby. This way, if his foot gets caught, he can stop moving or get it unstuck himself. When he’s in your lap, the force of your weight can break his leg.

If your child must sit on your lap, take these safety precautions: Remove his shoes and don’t let his legs touch the sides of the slide.

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