Just like adults; children too face back pain and it is becoming increasingly common amongst them. But most often we ignore the symptoms. If your child has persistent episodes of back pain and at the same place then you need to consult a doctor. Remember ignoring these back pain episodes will result into the same child becoming an adult with chronic weak back.
TIPS FOR CHILDREN
Some of the tips that you need to adopt at an early stage are
Sitting on desk
Introduction of correct sitting posture, early in life has great benefits for a healthy Spine in adulthood. Muscles tend to strengthen when they are in use and weaken when they are not. Slouching, poor posture weakens the core muscles and can have potential spine deformity issues in future. So to remember to keep a proper posture keep in mind DASH
- Distribute Weight Evenly – Distribute the weight evenly between the hips. Which means do not sit leaning on one hip or with one leg over another
- Angles to be correct- Maintain a right angle for the knees while sitting by keeping the foot flat on floor. If the child’s feet are not reaching the floor or is dangling then provide a stepper to rest the foot flat
- Straight Back- Keep your back straight with shoulders upright, chest wide and the back supported by the chair.
- Hips Position- Keep the Hips pushed in the back of the chair.
Exposure to gadgets
Be it for fun or for education, exposure of kids to mobile and television has increased. An average child is exposed to 2 to 3 hours of mobile or Tv time. The constant gazing at screens at a bend angle of the neck causes strain on the neck and eventually lead to chronic neck pain. Try and restrict Tv and mobile time to 30-45 minutes. If that is not possible than maintain the screen at eye level when watching to keep the back and neck straight. Instead of prolonged exposure to screens ask the child to take breaks which will help not just their back and neck but also the eyes.
With Digitization, everything can be ordered online without leaving the comforts of home and with elevators in high rise apartments, people are no longer used to the staircase. With E-games and video games, kids are finding it not at essential to make actual friends and go and play outdoor. This is leading into a sedentary lifestyle for your children which will make them inactive and unhealthy if not obese. A sedentary lifestyle will make their muscles and bones weak. Try to include exercise in the activities they do. Challenge them to use staircase every time they come back from school. Instead of ordering online, go and buy at physical stores. Make it a habit to take your child along and encourage them to walk instead of taking a vehicle. Make sure that they walk atleast 20 -30 mins each day.
Choose a bag very wisely for kids. The bag should have adjustable shoulder strap and the rear side of the bag should be padded. Take the child along with you to buy the bag so that you do not end up buying oversized ones. Choose a bag with molded frame or adjustable hip strap (like you see in some traveler’s back pack). This will help the weight of the bag to rest on the child’s pelvis rather than on the spine. Always ensure that your child carries the bag putting each strap on each shoulder and just on one shoulder. Also while packing the bag ensure that the weight of filled bag doesn’t exceed more than 10% of your child’s body weight. While packing keep in mind to put the heavier items closer to the rear of the bag so that the center of gravity for the child’s back is maintained.
Sports play an instrumental role in child’s physical and personality development and injuries are part of Sports. Fall on the head or back, unusual bends and twists while playing can cause sprain or sports injury. If the pain persists, then do not ignore it. While your child’s competitive spirit will compel them to continue, but tell them it is okay to take a break or not participate this one time. Visit a doctor and follow the doctor’s instruction on resuming the sport. As a parent, it is important that you understand your child’s body and capability. If some sport is not what your child’s body can cope up with then do the necessary changes to make the body ready for that Sport. It is also okay to opt for another lesser intense Sport.