The Importance of Regular Postural Checks for Kids

We all want our kids to grow up healthy. So we take them regularly to the Dentist and the Doctor. We feed them healthy, nutritious food and we make sure they exercise.

We also need to help them maintain good posture.

When we are born, our spines are a C-shape. Milestones and weight bearing create the S-shape we have as children and adults. When you look at your young child you will see they have good posture, they will sit up tall and will squat naturally to lift things. But posture is a habit! With the start of school and a more sedentary lifestyle your child will make changes to this habit. Some your child will consciously be aware of; slouching in class. Some changes will be mainly involuntary; sitting still, carrying heavy bags and the wrong footwear. Schools provide spinal check ups for your child in year 6 and year 9, screening for scoliosis.

Its important to be aware of signs of bad posture and to get your child’s spine checked regularly. Getting issues seen to early can help your child maintain a healthy musculo-skeletal system, preventing injuries and promoting good health. The team at Hands On Health Care Clinic are fully qualified to assess your childs spine and help them to promote and maintain their future health.

Signs of Poor Posture
  • Flat feet
  • Pigeon or turned in toes
  • Turned out toes
  • Knock knees
  • Tilted pelvis – is the waist line of their shorts level?
  • Rounded shoulders/winging of the shoulder blades
  • Slouched sitting/standing posture
  • One shoulder higher than the other
  • Head rotation – can you see one cheek if you look at them from behind
  • Injuries or complaints of pain
  • Headaches
  • Head tilt – are their earlobes level when you look at them from behind?
  • Forward head carriage – if you look at them from the side is their head in front of their body?
Causes of Poor Posture
  • School Bags If a child is carrying a school bag it should weigh less than 5-10% of their body weight. It should be carried on both shoulders, with the straps adjusted correctly. Make sure the heavier items are at the back of the bag to help with the child centre of gravity.
  • Sitting at school  When we move, fresh blood and oxygen is pumped around our body, peristalsis is activated and the spinal fluid is stimulated, resulting in the release of positive hormones. When we sit for long periods of time, everything slows down. Our muscles don’t receive the oxygen and blood flow they need to stay healthy and relaxed. We start to create weaknesses in the elongated muscles (posterior chain) and postural changes follow.
  • Decreased exercise With the ever increasing work load our kids seem to have one thing that can end up being sidelined is exercise and play. Weight-bearing activities such as running and jumping help stimulate blood flow. It also helps to build stronger healthier bones. Bones are constantly remodeling themselves, making themselves denser when we do heavier activities. It is important for bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis that we exercise when we are young.
  • The wrong foot wear Many of our kids wear thin, flat soled shoes that have no arch support or cushioning. This has an effect on their feet, knees, hips and spines. It is important that your child wears appropriate footwear during their growth and development.
  • Screen time Phones, tablets, TVs and computers all encourage your child to sit slouched with their head forward. Accentuating forward head carriage and rounded shoulders.
SO what can be done?

Book an appointment with one of our chiropractors and get your child’s posture fully assessed. You will be given free information about your child’s posture, there will only be an appointment charge if you kid needs treatment and you decide to go ahead. In the mean time, be aware, make simple changes to habits and start noticing the improvements.

September 26, 2016
Georgina Smith