Playground slide

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Children preparing to use a curving slide in Sacramento, California, 1963
A playground slide in Japan
The backview of a playground slide in the Philippines
Two slide play system
Slide in the Parque de Alcacer in Valencia, Spain

Playground slides are found in parks, schools, playgrounds and backyards. The slide may be flat, or half cylindrical or tubular to prevent falls. Slides are usually constructed of plastic or metal and they have a smooth surface that is either straight or wavy. The user, typically a child, climbs to the top of the slide via a ladder or stairs and sits down on the top of the slide and "slides" down the slide. In Australia the playground slide is known as a slide, slippery slide, slipper slide or slippery dip depending on the region.

Sliding pond or sliding pon is a term used in the New York City area to denote a playground slide.[1] Sliding board is used in the Philadelphia area and other parts of the Mid-Atlantic.[2]


The slide was invented by Charles Wicksteed, and the first slide, made of planks of wood, was installed in Wicksteed Park in 1922.[3]

The discovery of Wicksteed's oldest slide was announced by the company in 2013.[4]

Spiral slides[edit]

A playground slide may be wrapped around a central pole to form a descending spiral forming a simple helter skelter.

Amusement park slides[edit]

Larger versions of the playground slide are much higher with multiple parallel slideways. Participants may be provided with a sack to sit on to reduce friction for faster speeds and to protect clothing.

A variation of a slide is used in waterparks and swimming pools and is called a water slide.

A visitor descending the 'Forest Leap' drop slide at Escot Park

Drop slide[edit]

A slide that starts with a vertical or near-vertical drop is called a drop slide (also known as a death slide or free-fall slide). Slides of this sort are often found at amusement parks in the United Kingdom.


Playground slides are associated with several types of injury. The most obvious is that when a slide is not enclosed and is elevated above the playground surface, then users may fall off and incur bumps, bruises, sprains, broken bones, or traumatic head injuries. Some materials, such as metal, may become very hot during warm, sunny weather.

Some efforts to keep children safe on slides may do more harm than good. Rather than letting young children play on slides by themselves, some parents seat the children on the adult's lap and go down the slide together.[5] If the child's shoe catches on the edge of the slide, however, this arrangement frequently results in the child's leg being broken.[5] If the child had been permitted to use the slide independently, then this injury would not happen, because when the shoe caught, the child would have stopped sliding rather than being propelled down the slide by the adult's weight.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gold (1981)
  2. ^ "Dialects of English". Retrieved 2016-01-16. 
  3. ^ "World's first children's slide". BBC. 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  4. ^ "Is this the oldest swing in the world?"
  5. ^ a b c Parker-Pope, Tara (23 April 2012). "Well: At Playground, Child Plus Lap Can Equal Danger -". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-04-24.