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There are several systems responsible for providing our postural control; visual, inner ear (vestibular), sensory, nervous and muscular systems all work together. In their first four years children are growing rapidly and their postural systems are continually developing and adapting. Once children reach the age of between 7-10 years most of these systems have already matured. Being able to lay down good movement patterns from very early is paramount in preventing posture related aches and pains.
“It is easier to maintain good postural habits in children than it is to fix the problems they cause in adulthood.”
Immediately from birth there are strategies you can use to prevent postural issues:
“Variety is the spice of life”
As they get bigger and more mobile you may notice they only roll one direction or lean to one side when sitting. Using toys you can encourage them to roll or lean the opposite way.
Once they become toddlers you will probably notice their rounded tummies and arched lower backs. As they continue to grow and increase muscle tone this will gradually disappear, their proportions will become more adult like.
Here are some helpful tips you can employ as your child continue to grow:
These are just a few tips to encourage good posture and prevent posture related aches. If you are concerned about anything visit a Physiotherapist who can assess your child fully. It is not normal for children to suffer from back pain. There are some ailments such as scoliosis which require medical intervention. They can be difficult to detect but may prevent your child from sitting or standing tall. The earlier any problems are detected the easier they are to treat.
In a nutshell ensure your children enjoy varied and active hobbies, and encourage them to sit/stand tall like the tallest giraffe or sunflower.
Debs is a Physiotherapist and Pilates teacher. A huge part of her job entails trying to fix posture related ailments. Her own pregnancies made her realise the impact of postural changes but also the importance of good posture in children. After the birth of her second child, she set up Pilates by Physio.
You can find more tips on their Facebook page and class details on the website.