Shona Keetley didn't realize what had happened until her and her son were back home.
As The Sun reports, the 26-year-old U.K. mom was enjoying a day out with her toddler George when they decided to go on one last ride before heading home.
Shona told her partner that'd she'd take George on a quick trip down the indoor slide, and sat her son between her legs. She told the Sun that she didn't think twice about riding down with him:
“He was only 18-months-old at the time and I didn't feel comfortable with him going down by himself. I hadn't even taken my shoes off because it was only meant to be a quick one.”
Though she was aware that her son got his leg caught on the slide, Shona didn't realize anything serious had happened.
She told the Sun that George had cried briefly when they finished, but “stopped after a few minutes so [she] just thought he got his leg caught and nothing else.”
It wasn't until the family returned home and Shona put her son on the sofa that she realized something was wrong. The toddler wanted to climb down but collapsed and began crying instead.
After seeing George couldn't stand up, his worried parents rushed to the hospital. Shona told the Sun that she still wasn't overly concerned and “just thought it was a pulled muscle or a twisted ankle at this point.”
At the hospital, they learned that George had a fractured leg.
And when Shona viewed a video of their trip down the slide, she could pinpoint the exact moment he broke it — right down to the audible snapping noise.
Surprisingly, George's injury is not unusual.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), 352,698 children aged six and under were injured on slides between 2010 and 2015. The highest proportion of injuries was among toddlers and the most common type of injury was a fracture — usually of the lower leg.
Going down the slide with a child on a parent's lap can lead to a break if the child's foot gets caught on the slide.
A child sliding alone lacks the weight or momentum to get seriously hurt (even if he or she catches a foot). However, a grown adult generates more force, which can lead to a broken bone for a small child riding on a parent's lap.
But man parents aren't aware of the danger, as Dr. Charles Jennissen told the AAP:
“Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought. 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.”
Shona admits that she had no idea of the risks involved in riding down the slide with her son. Now pregnant with her second child, Shona shared a video of the accident via the website Channel Mum. She told the Sun that she hopes her warning will help others:
“There should be clear signs warning parents not to go down the slides with their parents. [...] I would just urge parents to watch this video and learn from my mistake.”