Not that I would ever do such a thing…on purpose.  But, accidentally?  I could see that happening.  So far, I haven’t done anything to scar my son physically.  Emotionally, I’ve probably wreaked havoc on him.  (There’s a small chance I won’t know until he’s moved out of the house.)

I was reading an article the other day about dangers on a playground.  What I didn’t know was that I could be dangerous enough to break my kid’s leg.

A slide is fun to, er, slide on.  And even though I’m in my late 20’s (ok, early-30’s)  (ok, mid-30’s for Tebow’s sake!), I still get a kick out of scooting down the slide.  (Whee!)  As a father, I want to maximize our laughs on the playground.  So naturally, I perch Gavin atop my lap and we go down the slide together.  (Whee!)  We’ve done it quite a few times already.

But, here’s where it gets dangerous.  If you are sliding down the slide with your child and his/her shoe gets caught under you, the force of your additional weight may be enough to break the child’s leg or injure him or her substantially.

For the physics nerds out there:

  • On top of a slide:  The potential energy of a parent + child > The potential energy of child
  • Potential energy becomes kinetic energy as the parent + child (or child alone) go down the slide.  Disregard thermal energy such as friction burning the seat of your pants on the way down.
  • If a child is sliding down the slide by himself, he may be able to put a foot down to slow and stop himself.  The kinetic force is turned into thermal energy and result in burned rubber on the shoes!
  • If a parent and child are sliding down the slide together, the child may try to put a foot down to slow and stop himself.  But, the kinetic energy of both parent and child may be too great and the mechanical energy of the child’s foot may not be enough to slow and stop parent and child.  Thus, child’s mechanical energy is overcome by the kinetic energy and fracture of bone may occur on descent.  Voila!  Child has broken leg and you are to blame.  Bad parent, bad!

So, in other words, be careful on the playground!  You don’t want to have to go home to your wife and tell her that you broke her kid’s leg.  But, in case you find yourself in this predicament, use one of these 3 excuses to get off scott-free:

  1. He was getting beat up at the playground and we tried to escape by sliding down the slide.  But, _____ (fill in your child’s name here) tried to jump off the slide to retaliate and got his leg stuck under me and broke it.  Our boy’s got the fight of a lion, doesn’t he?  (MAKE YOUR KID THE HERO.)
  2. We climbed to the top of the slide to get a better view of playground and he slipped.  I dove down to save _____ from falling and hitting his head.  As I caught little _____ in my lap, his foot got caught under me and broke.  Don’t worry though, it could have been worse if he broke his head.  (MAKE YOURSELF THE HERO.)
  3. We were at the playground and suddenly, there was this light beam that came down from the sky and started pulling _____ towards a hovering space ship.  I jumped up and grabbed _____.  In falling from the tractor beam’s pull, we landed on the slide.  The impact of the fall caused me to land on _____’s leg, breaking it.  Thank Tebow, it was only a fracture.  Just think what would have happened if the aliens got him.  (THIS ONE’S A LONG SHOT.)

Original article:

Riding the Slide with Your Toddler in Your Lap Could Break Her Leg

You Aliens Have to Try Harder Against These Intelligent Lifeforms!!