It is very common to have parents in the clinic asking about their kid who is ”walking a little funny” or “sitting in a strange postures all day”…
Usually it is difficult to know what is expected at those ages and what needs to be checked or fixed. It is normally around the age of 10 that we can see more clearly, their posture could be better. Parents usually pick up on their feet being flat, the knees collapsing inwards or the slouching. Even if your kid doesn’t show any signs of unusual gait or excessive slouching, you should still keep an eye on their overall posture and teach them “spinal hygiene” to keep their backs healthy in the long term.
Here are some tips:
Related to school.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, backpacks that are too heavy or are worn incorrectly can cause muscle and joint injury, along with back, neck and shoulder pain. Look for wide, padded shoulder straps and a waist strap to help with weight distribution. Encourage your child to wear their backpack on both shoulders rather than throwing them over just one shoulder.
Watch out at home.
A proper desk set-up encourages healthy alignment and should include a comfortable chair and space for a computer. Try to avoid your kid using a laptop on their bed or in their lap. Looking down all the time puts a lot of strain on the neck. This can possibly impact how kids’ bodies develop and grow over time.
While it’s tempting to tell our hunched-over kids to “sit up straight,” this isn’t a particularly helpful approach, because they’ll end up sitting in a way that’s unnaturally rigid. Instead, suggest teaching your child to sit on their “sits bones”– the bony protrusions you can feel if you slide your hand under your butt while sitting. Once you’re centred on your sits bones, your whole body can start to organize itself around a supportive base.
Fight bad posture with strength.
One of the biggest risks to posture is lack of physical activity, kids who exercise tend to have better posture, more upright versus slumped. Getting your kid moving is the key. And we are very sorry to inform that school P.E is very helpful but not enough.
All activity is good, but the most impactful activities on their body development will be: swimming, running, martial arts, pilates, yoga, basketball and circuit training.
Lead by example.
Try to incorporate these tips on your daily life and let them see you holding yourself upright as well!
For any other advise you always have us at CostaSpine who can help assess your child and give them the necessary treatment and tips.
Yours in healthcare