A mother who watched her 2-year-old daughter's leg snap while the child was zooming down a slide on her tummy wants to warn parents of playground safety risks.

The Wellington mum, who asked not be identified, said the horrific incident that occurred last Christmas Eve still haunts her.

"She followed her big brother up the slide. She's big for her age and had been down before so I assumed she'd be ok."

As she came down the slippery bends, feet first on her tummy, the little girl put her leg out to stop. Her rubber shoes caught the end of the slide and her knee bent back sharply.


"I can't unsee it. I saw it happen right in front of me. I saw her leg snap. The whole thing was very traumatic."

The family rushed to the hospital where the toddler was put in a cast covering her ankle to the top of her thigh.

For the following six weeks of summer her toddler was bound to the cast.

"She lost a lot of confidence and six months on she has yet to fully recover.

"Her leg is still a little wonky as she lost six weeks of trying to move. It will be a long recovery I'd say," the mum said.

She said that feeling of guilt still sat with her.

"I made the wrong assumption. You just assume a slide is an innocent childhood activity, and you can't be too crazy about it, but it's important to be aware."

She said children were best not to wear shoes or slide down on their parents' laps.


"The rubber on the shoes can stick and get caught and there has been heaps of stories of kids legs getting tangled and breaking their legs while sliding down on their parents' laps."

The mother said she was told by a nurse that children breaking their legs on slides was reasonably common.

Last year ACC received 1697 playground slide-related claims from children under the age of 12. The cost of these claims alone totalled to $627,370.

Over the last five years there had been nearly 10,000 claims relating to accidents on playground slides.

Safekids Aotearoa recorded nearly 6000 hospitalisations due to falls from playground equipment between 2012-2016.

Mark Fenwick from Safe Kids said these figures were a reminder for parents to make sure equipment was age appropriate.

"Make sure you are checking the equipment is right for your child and the playground is age appropriate."

Last year, an Auckland schoolgirl was left with a cracked skull and traumatic brain and hearing injuries following a playground accident at Gladstone Primary School.

A 4-year-old boy who died at a daycare centre in Takapuna in 2016 had been playing with toy stilts on a slide.

And in 2015, a 5-year-old in Sunnyvale suffered a brain injury after falling from a playground.