One of my primary goals as a parent is keep my kids safe and help them learn good judgment. I have done all the right things over the years (five-point harness car seats, baby-proofing the house, bike helmets, cutting grapes…) and it has worked out well for me, until a few weeks ago when my three-year-old broke her leg on a playground slide. Fortunately it should heal in 4-6 weeks.
My public service announcement:
Here is what can happen when a small child goes down a slide in the lap of a larger kid or an adult. The small child’s shoe can get caught on the edge of the slide and the combined momentum of the two people will force the leg of the small child into an unnatural position and a spiral fracture of the small child’s shinbone can result. Yep – that is what happened.
We were at soccer practice and my youngest talked an older kid into sliding down the slide with her. One minute she was playing tag on the playground and I took my eye off her for a second. The next minute, I turned back around in time to see her in an older kid’s lap going down the slide, saw her foot catch the side for a split second, heard a small ‘pop’ and hoped my gut instinct was wrong.
That’s not good. She’s screaming and in serious pain. I bet it’s broken. Poor kid!
#@$%@ How did I let this happen to her? Okay, maybe I’m overreacting to her screaming, and she’ll be fine. I’ll pick her up and try to calm her down. Not good, she won’t even play with my phone. Let’s see if I can distract her and see if she can walk on it. NOPE! Poor kid can’t even stand on it!
At this point she wouldn’t stop screaming and every parent at practice was periodically looking at her with a sad/concerned face, so I knew that pretty soon I would have to make the call I was dreading…to my wife at work.
I am calling to inform you that I have failed in my duty to protect our children from harm. I can tell them a million times not to do things we know might end in injury, but sometimes they do it anyway. I think she broke her leg. She’s very cute and extremely articulate and talked an older kid into going down the slide with her. I often catch her asking older kids to go down the slide with her. It drives me crazy. I tell her all the time she can’t do that, but she keeps doing it.
I ended up taking her to the OrthoCarolina Urgent Care and, fortunately for us, it was a slow night so we were seen rather quickly. All told it was less than two hours from the time of her accident to the time it was in a cast and we were on the way home. Thanks, Dr. Clark!
Life with a three-year-old with a broken leg is pure joy. We are learning new things all the time. Since I timed it perfectly, we even had a chance fly to Texas for Spring Break with a broken leg. My wife had the opportunity to figure out how to help ‘broken leg girl’ use the potty on a regional jet…THREE times in one flight. For the first week, I had to carry her everywhere. Now I’m patiently trying to get her to stand up on her cast. We have a walking shoe for it, but she won’t even put it on, so it’s a pretty slow go right now. My back aches from having to carry her everywhere again. (I guess it’s my penance)
Good thing I still have my trusty BOB stroller. Turns out it’s also a very comfy wheelchair…