Clare learned from a doctor in the emergency room that Meadow's injury was much more common than she thought.
"I took Meadow down the slide on my lap, and about halfway down the slide, I realized her foot was caught between me and the slide", Clare, 35, tells PEOPLE.
"I share this picture every year in hopes that the pain Meadow felt and the guilt that I still feel will save other babies and parents from the same", Clare said in her Facebook post. "They really advise one person at a time down a slide". "I had no idea", Clare wrote in the Facebook post.
According to a study presented at the Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition in Chicago in 2017, researchers found that out of the 350,000 children younger than 6 years of age who were injured on slides in the US from 2002 to 2015, toddlers ages 12 to 23 months had especially high rates of injury. Clare's husband was stationed at the bottom of the slide and captured the exact moment when Meadow hurt her leg. "He advised there is no safe way to go down a slide with a child on your lap", Clare tells Us Weekly.
After her injury, Meadow spent about a month in a cast.
Parents and carers should therefore avoid going down a slide with young children on their lap, said Jennissen, and those who choose to do so should practice extreme caution to prevent their feet from catching on the equipment.
Meadow has since made a full recovery.
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"I am hard enough on myself for it".
"I encourage parents to really know the area, know the slide, know the playground and see what is age appropriate", said Hoekstra.
"I'm happy that I shared it because I feel that I've been able to reach so many more people".
"Many parents and caregivers go down a slide with a young child on their lap without giving it a second thought", he wrote. Parents from across the world are thanking Heather for raising awareness as many, like her, were unaware something like this could happen.
Meadow will be 4 in September.
Clare said there were initial concerns over how the injury would heal, and if one of Meadow's legs would be shorter than the other. That said, she does proceed with caution.
"The weight of the adult doesn't allow for the child to stop on the slide", she explains. "Not even her twin brother". "Because the break was close to the growth plate, the doctor wasn't sure if her legs would grow the same because of it", she says.
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