We’re not just talking about the stuff we use on our kids’ swings or the ones they use to play hide-and-seek or hang out in.
Plastic sliders are the new thing.
The problem with plastic sliders is that, while they’re not harmful to the environment, they’re the new normal in children’s playgrounds.
Kids love them, but they’re also causing significant health problems.
They’re also making us sick.
A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine suggests that plastic slings have become an increasingly common fixture in childrens playgrounds and play areas.
“Children are very easily influenced to use this equipment,” says Dr. Robert Ritchie, lead author of the study.
“They’re easy to take out of the box, so they can just walk away and get out of there.”
The new study examined the prevalence of children using plastic slippers in preschools, kindergartens and high schools.
Researchers collected data from over 30,000 kids in the US and Canada over the past two decades.
The data revealed that a whopping 91 percent of the kids in these preschools and kindergarties were using slings.
In the case of kindergarters, that number was nearly 90 percent.
It also found that, overall, about 70 percent of these kids had been using sliders for at least one year.
That’s an increase of nearly 50 percent from the previous survey.
The findings suggest that slings are spreading like wildfire across preschools.
“When we first started studying slings, it was a little hard to understand the numbers,” Ritchie says.
“Now we have data on how many kids are using them in their own playgrounds, and how many are using it in other playgrounds around the country.”
The researchers also found a clear correlation between the number of slings in playgrounds versus playgrounds with other forms of playground equipment.
While playgrounds are often a safe haven for children to be creative and social, the data indicates that the number and type of toys being used in these playgrounds has an impact on the number, type and quantity of plastic slingers.
This trend is particularly clear in playground areas with large numbers of swings and other toys.
According to Ritchie: “A lot of the research has shown that toys that are more readily available in a playground are less likely to be associated with the prevalence and use of plastic plastic slinging.”
That’s because, as the researchers explain in the study, playgrounds that have toys with smaller sizes and fewer toys tend to be more open to kids, making it easier for them to interact and play.
This is especially true when children have access to other types of playground materials like metal, plastic, or PVC.
“There’s a tendency to see things as toys and to not consider them as having a potentially harmful impact on children’s health,” Ritts says.
In fact, a recent study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that a single plastic slide was associated with one child dying of respiratory distress from respiratory infections.
Another study found that plastic slides could be used to help control a viral outbreak in children.
“If you put them on a child’s hands and the child doesn’t do anything with them, that child’s going to get sick,” Ritsons says.
He cautions that even though plastic slids are being used to treat children, they may also have a detrimental effect on the environment.
“This is just one of many ways that playgrounds in general are not providing kids with the environment and opportunity to be social and interact with other children, and that could be causing significant harm to the health of children,” he says.
Kids are taking the plastic slide out of playgrounds by the truckload.
There’s no denying that plastic playgrounds have been around for years.
They are a way to get kids to engage in social interactions without having to spend time in a group setting.
But now, many playgrounds across the country are replacing them with other playground equipment, like metal toys, metal balls and PVC toys.
“It is very common for playgrounds to replace swings, toys, and other playground items with metal toys,” Ritton says.
That means that children are having to interact with their parents and other adults without their own toys, which can cause physical and mental problems.
This has created a dangerous environment in playground spaces.
It can also lead to playgrounds becoming more crowded and unhealthy.
According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number one cause of injuries and deaths among children ages 4 to 17 in the United States is injuries to children.
Kids who play with other kids are often less likely than kids who play alone to develop a concussion.
“The number one way we’re increasing the number that are injured is by putting them in an environment where they’re doing things that can be dangerous,” Ritons says, adding that this is especially dangerous when there are children in