Recommendations for good posture in children

When walking, sitting and even sleeping or playing, from their earliest age, parents must be careful that their children maintain proper posture, thus avoiding evils that can consolidate with age. A good posture from childhood will be reflected in a proper adult posture.

An age range in which some problems appear, related to bad postures, is that of 9 to 12 years, which are evident by growth; among them, scoliosis, which produces back pain, a common cause of consultation in adolescents between 12 and 18 years old and that is related to chronic discomfort in adulthood.

In addition to scoliosis, poor posture can cause neck, shoulder and back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome (due to improper use of the mouse on the computer), inadequate bone growth, misaligns skeletal muscle system and in advanced form, can even make it harder to digest food and make breathing difficult.

On the other hand, your child’s posture or body expression may be revealing some emotional or self-esteem problem. If he’s an adolescent male, he may be very tall and hunched over so that he doesn’t stand out so much from his peers and avoid being teased. In the case of girls, during puberty, some may feel distressed by the growth of the breasts and stoop to hide them. In both dynamic and static postures, some tips can help.

When walking, running, playing, or doing everyday activities, watch out for:

– Backpacks are one of the factors that can cause spinal injuries and hunching; they should not have a weight greater than 10% of the child’s body weight, must have good padding on the back, be placed with both straps so that the weight is properly distributed and must be above the hip. 

– When walking or running, the child should have his head upright on his shoulders and his shoulders should align with his hips; arms should rest downwards, along the body; as for the tread, the weight of the body should be distributed on the front of the feet and not just on the heel.

– To correct the hunched back, it is relevant to involve the child in a sports activity, which in addition to allowing good muscle development, contributes to socialization and improves self-esteem and thus tends to raise the shoulders more. Swimming is very suitable, as it is practically impossible to swim hunched over.

– When playing on the floor, it is common to see children sitting with their legs out, placed in W (this posture is called W-sitting), which facilitates the handling of toys. For many parents, such a position is disturbing, in which they rotate their limbs outwards or inwards, because of the flexibility of the femur and tibia in those early ages, therefore it is a variant of normality and should not worry. But you must always be careful that the child does not walk with his feet inward, as a consequence of incorporating this posture at other times of the day. Such a rotational pattern tends to disappear in girls around 10 and 12 years and a little later in boys, around 14 years. If it persists or occurs when walking, I recommend that you take it to the orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation.

It is static postures (sitting, standing or sleeping), be aware of:

– When sitting, the first thing is to ensure that the child has a good chair, with good backrest and at a medium height of the table, so that he can properly rest his arms on it (at an angle of 90 to 120o) and his feet resting on the floor, with his knees at 90o, withoutcrossing hislegs. If the chair does not have good backrest in the lower back, a pillow can be placed for better support. Be aware that the infant does not spend much time sitting, should invite him to pause and walk a little.

In this post on my Instagram account, I give you some tips.

– The worktable must be suitable for the child’s height, especially where he uses the computer, the idea is that he does not do it from his bed or on a sofa, since correct body alignment is not guaranteed in this furniture.

– When sleeping, first ensure that the bed has a quality mattress, which is not worn by use. It is also recommended to sleep on your side, with your legs bent or on your back with a pillow under your knees.

– When standing, make sure that you are neither very straight nor too lean forward, with your shoulders back and that your stomach does not stick out, feet apart at shoulder height. In turn, if you are going to stay standing for a long time, show him that he should change the weight from one foot to another, from time to time. Make sure you wear shoes that are right for your foot size and fit for the physical activity you’re going to perform.

Try to get all these good postural habits to incorporate in a fun way, without scolding the child. One technique that works to remind you how to not to hunch over is to tell you to stretch to feel “higher,” since all the muscles that help in that task are the same ones that improve posture.

To teach her to check if her spine is aligned properly, ask her to stand next to a wall, with her shoulders and buttocks in contact with the wall; in that position, the back of your head should be in contact with the wall. If not, the head is forward and not aligned with the rest of the body. This activity can be done from a young age, placing a height measurement tape on the wall, since children love to check how much they have grown and thus incorporate as a game, what should be their correct posture when standing and also to walk.

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