Body-sliding poses risk of paralysis in teens, adults

safety-tips-logoSunny summer days at my house growing up most definitely included a Slip’N Slide.

My dad would carefully unroll that yellow strip of plastic, and my sister and I would take turns running, leaping and sliding.

As we got older, though, the appeal of the Slip’N Slide diminished.

Good thing, because so-called “body-sliding” — diving onto and sliding across a wet sheet of plastic on the ground — is extremely dangerous for teenagers and adults.

The problem is that Slip’N Slide and its clones are for children only. Says so right on the box.

But when teens and adults — that is, older Boy Scouts, Venturers and Scout leaders — use these backyard water slides, serious injury could result. Keep that in mind as you plan your next summer activity — as part of Scouting or not.

Read on for more.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has highlighted multiple cases of spinal cord injury and permanent paralysis in teenagers and adults resulting from body-sliding.

The CPSC noted that injury can occur because the “slider’s forward momentum drives the body into the neck and compresses the spinal cord.”

Teens and adults are, of course, larger and taller than children. So they “may hit and abruptly stop in such a way that could cause permanent spinal cord injury, resulting in quadriplegia or paraplegia,” according to the CPSC.

Here’s a link to the Consumer Product Safety Commission warning, which is actually more than 20 years old. In other words, the experts have known about this risk for a while.

The takeaway

Read and follow the warnings on the box of these backyard water slides. If the box says the product isn’t for teens and adults, make sure teens and adults don’t use it at your next outdoor event.

About Bryan Wendell 2913 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.