Sometimes Your Kids Are Safer If You Just Leave Them Alone

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If you think that modern parents are entirely too protective of their children, this story is for you:

Although nobody keeps national statistics, orthopedic specialists say they treat a number of toddlers and young children each year with broken legs as a result of riding down the slide on a parent’s lap. A study at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., found that nearly 14 percent of pediatric leg fractures over an 11-month period involved toddlers riding down the slide with a parent.

….“This fracture is entirely preventable,” said Dr. [Edward] Holt, who has created a warning poster for local pediatrician offices and a YouTube video alerting parents to the hazard….To prevent the injury, the best solution is to allow a child to slide by himself, with supervision and instructions on how to play safely. Young children can be placed on the slide at the halfway point with a parent standing next to the slide. At the very least, parents should remove a child’s shoes before riding down the slide with the child on their laps, and make sure the child’s legs don’t touch the sides or sliding surface.

Just let your kids play. Sure, keep your eyes on them, but otherwise just let them play. They’ll be fine. In fact, they’ll be more than fine. They’ll be better because they’re figuring out how the world works all by themselves. I doubt they even need much instruction on how to play safely, either. It’s a slide. Most kids grasp the principle pretty easily.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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