There are a lot of childhood activities that were once considered completely safe that we're only now learning can do serious damage — like jumping on a trampoline, for example.
Add going down a slide with your toddler on your lap to the list, because as it turns out, that can be a shockingly easy way to break your kid's leg.
According to a study being presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition this week — as well as many anecdotal news reports in the past — toddlers ages 12 to 23 months had the highest percentage of injuries from playground slides. And although parents are likely trying to protect their newly mobile little ones by sliding with them, they can actually do more harm.
It all comes down to science. If a child's foot catches an edge or the bottom of the slide as they're going down, it might twist, but they can stop themselves and it won't cause any major injury. Put the added weight of a parent behind that bend, however, and it could break a bone.
"[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," said lead researcher Dr. Charles Jennissen, a pediatric emergency medicine staff physician.
So what's a well-meaning parent to do? Well, it's pretty simple — let the kid go down the slide alone.
Kids as young as one year old can start going down gentle slopes themselves.
According to Easy Baby Life, kids as young as one year old can start going down gentle slopes themselves, and it has the added bonus of giving them the independence they're craving.
While we don't have any science to back up this particular point, it feels likely that parents even trying to go down slides with kids is more common today than it ever was in the past, thanks to the pervasive belief that kids are in danger far more frequently than they actual are.
So stop riding those slides — right now. Unless, of course, you're going for a solo ride, in which case, you enjoy that second childhood as long as you can.
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