We have many systems that are responsible for providing our postural control and they all work together. Our children are still growing rapidly in their first 4 years of life. We should start laying down good movement patterns early on to prevent posture related aches & pains as they grow up. When we help our children have good posture, we help them have a great start at life.
“It better to grow healthy kids than fix injured adults.”
There are many ways that we can help prevent postural issues starting at birth!
1. Feeding from different sides if you are nursing or bottle feeding. As adults it we are usually either left or right dominant. This means we tend to hold our babies or the bottle in the same arm or hand. When changing how we hold our baby we help encourage our baby to turn their head from either direction (left or right).
2. We should try to change their position. Moving them from their play mats, car seats, tummy time, or being in a sling or carrier. This gives them different opportunities to use the different muscle groups they have.
3. Something most of probably don’t think is important is which side of the car they are on or which end we place them in their bed. We should be changing their car seat to a different side of the care doing this will help them look in different directions. We can also change which end we place them in their bed which will also help baby to look in a different direction than their normal.
You may see has baby grows and gets bigger and mobile that they prefer to roll in one direction or even lean to one side when they sit.
- Using toys we can help our babies to roll or lean in the opposite direction.
When our little babies become toddler we see their rounded tummies and their arched lower backs slowly go away. This is because as our babies become toddlers they are growing and increasing their muscle tone.
There are many different ways that we can help offset habits that lead to poor posture. Here you will find some ways to not only help your children maintain and improve their posture, but also help improve your posture as well!
1. We should let our children roll to their side and move to all fours as they get up.
Think about this…When you wake up in your bed do you make sure you roll to your side or do you try lifting yourself up while lying on your back? When we try lifting ourselves up while lying on our backs we start our day with straining our necks and backs. Instead of helping your child up by pulling them up by their hands, try putting your hands under their armpits. Even better allow them to get up how its instinctive for them, by rolling to their side and then pushing themselves to all fours.
2. Allow them to sit on a stool or surface that doesn’t have a back support.
Doing this helps them strengthen their back and torso. When a chair has a back to it, it actually makes it more difficult to sit upright. With a back on a chair as adults, we tend to learn back instead of using our muscles to sit upright.
3. Get up and move around about every 30 minutes.
Lets be honest in these days, it is really is for not only ourselves but for our children to get tuned into a show, videos, or games. It is important that we make it a priority for our children to have time away from the screens/devices. There are so many ways that we can enforce the 30 minute rule. Each family can have things that work best for the children and family. One easy way to enforce the 30 minutes is to set an alarm on your phone or kitchen timer and then redirect your child/children to something else like outside time. This idea might even be easier for some… take a break from the show, video, or game and go use the restroom, have snack time or meal time.
4. Encourage them to go into a squat position.
Good squatting position is when the posture is lengthened. Try avoiding having the back rounded with the torso leaning on the knees.
THIS NEXT ONE MIGHT BE A BIG ONE…
5. Bringing food up to their mouth.
Make sure that you and your children are bringing your food to the mouth verse bringing your mouth (head) down to your food. Think about it… when we bring our heads down to our food this makes us slump in our chair and makes our back rounded…this in return shrinks our spine. Bringing the food to UP to our mouth means our bodies wont feel the tension it would if we brought our mouth to our food.
6. Use a pillow to prop up devices.
When using a laptop, iPad, tablet, or phone have a pillow or have a few books on your lap. Poor posture has become more prevalent among our children today. There is an increase of people experiencing low back pain, and depicting a hunched over posture. Have screens at eye-level to prevent “text neck.”
Using devices is inevitable these days, so lets try to make sure our bodies and our children’s bodies are at the correct position while using devices. When a laptop, iPad, tablet, or phone are being used, try using a pillow or a few books on the lap. Doing this will help us and our children have better posture. Today poor posture has become more prevalent among our children, lets put a stop to this! There is also an increase of people that are now experiencing low back pain, and having a hunched over posture. This creates many problems. When we put our screens at eye-level it helps prevent “text neck” which in return prevents many aches, pains, and dysfunction.
Keep your children active! This does not mean you have to pay for an activity. This activity might mean different things to different families. You can take daily trips to the park to play or an open space to get out and run. This can mean playing soccer, basketball, football, etc. as a family. This could also mean going on a bike ride, scooter ride, etc.
1. Encourage sitting and standing up tall. When we sit or stand tall, this will create length through the spine and a proud chest allows for the correct posture muscles to function. Your brain is amazing! The brain learns what it thinks is normal through what we do. If we sit up tall our brain learns that sitting up tall is normal. The same thing is true if we sit with rounded shoulders.
2. Allow your children to be barefoot when it is possible.
3. Avoid dominance where ever possible. This can be done by switching which leg is the pushing leg when you/children ride a scooter or skateboard. You should also encourage your children to switch which foot they kick balls with.
4. Backpacks should be as light as possible and should not be more than 5%-10% their body weight. Backpack should be worn on both shoulders with wide padded straps. Make sure your children’s backpack is not worn more than 4 inches below their waistline.
5. Young children are pretty flexible normally, so it is important for us to encourage them to stretch, but not overstretch.
6. Encourage good balance. We can do this by having children stand on one foot when they are doing different things, for example while they brush their teeth. You can make this fun, by making it and competition and seeing who can stand on one foot the longest.
Our children should not suffer from neck pain or back pain. Bring your children in to your Mission Viejo Chiropractor at ADIO Chiropractic for a consultation with Dr. Zac Cadman.
For a consultation call us at (949) 427-9081