How to Improve Your Child’s Posture

baby posture

Children’s posture is often overlooked, but it can significantly impact their physical and mental health. It’s possible to prevent posture-related issues by taking preventive measures while they’re still young. 

As we celebrate Scoliosis Awareness Month this June, we will discuss what causes poor posture in children. In addition, we will explore how we can improve it so that they won’t experience problems later in life.

 

Why Is Proper Posture in Children So Important?

Children are developing and growing at a swift pace. Their bodies are constantly changing and adapting to the environment in which they live. Thus it’s crucial for children to have a proper posture at all times.  

Proper posture is vital for a healthy body and mind. When you have good posture, your body can function properly and efficiently. It helps you breathe better, move more easily, and sleep better. In addition, proper posture allows children to develop good muscle tone, strength, flexibility, and balance. 

It also helps them strengthen their core muscles that support their body’s spine and other joints. Helping prevent injuries from occurring later in life when playing sports or participating in other physical activities.

Your child’s posture must be monitored at all times because bad posture can cause lifelong health problems. Poor posture can lead to a variety of issues, including

  • headaches 
  • poor circulation
  • low energy levels
  • poor self-esteem
  • abdominal obesity
  • neck and back pain
  • muscle strain and joint discomfort
  • reduced breathing capacity, which can lead to fatigue and exhaustion

 

What Are the Reasons for Poor Posture in Children?

There are many reasons why a child might have an incorrect pediatric posture. Some of the top reasons include:

 

Scoliosis 

Scoliosis refers to the curvature of the spine to the side, forming an “S” shape. It’s most commonly seen in teenagers, but it can affect anyone at any age. The cause is often unknown, but it can be hereditary or caused by an injury that causes muscle imbalance and asymmetry in the spine. Poor postural habits can aggravate existing scoliosis or cause new cases of scoliosis over time.

 

Poor Ergonomics 

Nowadays, a lot of children spend too much time playing video games, watching television, or using computers. They tend to sit with their heads bowed down or bent forward when doing these activities. In addition, they don’t take breaks or get up from their seats often enough to stretch their muscles out. The result is that their bodies adapt to these positions for long periods of time, which leads to poor posture.

 

Injuries or nerve damage

Damage to nerves in the spine can cause poor posture due to muscle weakness or spasticity (a sudden increase in muscle tone). Injuries such as falls or car accidents can also cause poor posture.

 

Poor Nutrition

A lack of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are all linked with poor posture in children. These nutrients are essential for healthy bones and joints, so getting enough of them is especially important during childhood when your child’s bones are still developing. Moreover, an imbalanced diet can lead to obesity, which increases pressure on the spine and pelvis, causing abnormal spine alignment that leads to poor posture.

 

Other Health Conditions

Poor posture can signify developmental problems such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and other disorders affecting muscle control and balance. If your child has a condition like this, they may also have muscle weakness or abnormal walking patterns.

 

8 Ways on How Correct Body Posture 

As your child grows into adolescence and adulthood, they will need to develop healthy postural habits that will last them a lifetime. Children are more likely to follow through with something with consistent exposure to it over time. That’s why parents need to take an active role in helping their children improve their stature. Here are eight ways to get started on how to have a good posture.

 

1. Teach Them What Good Posture Looks Like

If you want your child to keep a good posture, you need to teach them what good posture looks like. Here are some tips:

Good Standing Posture: Stand up straight with your head up and shoulders back. This position is the primary position of good posture. Your ears should be in line with the top of your shoulders, and your hips should be level with each other (no one part sticking out). Your knees should be slightly bent, not locked straight or bent too far out to the side. Your feet should be about hip-width apart, so you’re still balanced when standing on one foot (your dominant side). 

Good Sitting Posture: The first step to proper sitting posture is to avoid slouching or hunching over, especially when you do this for long periods. Instead, ensure both feet are flat on the floor with knees bent at right angles (90degrees). Keep shoulders relaxed rather than rounded forward or pulled back too far.

 

2. Encourage Good Posture in All Activities

For example, when playing with other children, encourage them not to lean on their elbows but instead sit up straight with their arms at their sides. When walking, encourage them not to slouch or lean forward when carrying something heavy or walking upstairs. Encourage them to look straight ahead and not down at their feet when walking on the sidewalk or street.

Teach your child the importance of good posture by modeling it yourself. Sit with good posture at mealtime and when you’re reading or watching television.

 

3. Have Them Assessed for Scoliosis

Early detection and treatment can help prevent scoliosis from worsening and causing pain or discomfort later in life. Scoliosis can be diagnosed with an x-ray or MRI scan. It’s essential to have your child assessed by a doctor if you notice any unusual changes or signs like:

  • Neck pain
  • A change in posture or walk
  • One hip higher than the other
  • A hump on one or both sides of the back
  • One-shoulder blade is higher than the other
  • Back pain that worsens while standing or sitting
  • A rib hump on one side of the back (the top of the rib cage sticks out more than normal)

 

4. Take Frequent Breaks from Electronic Devices

It’s common for children to spend hours in front of a computer, tablet, or phone. These activities can lead to poor posture and muscle strain in the neck and back. Remind your child to take regular breaks from computers, phones, and tablets. Set a timer for 20-30 minutes of screen time. After that, encourage them to go outside and exercise instead of sitting in front of a screen.

 

5. Get Your Child Moving

One of the most crucial steps in improving your child’s posture is to encourage regular physical activity that includes stretching and exercise for all parts of their bodies. The more active your child is, the better their posture will be.

Physical activity offers many benefits, including

  • strengthening muscles
  • increasing circulation
  • fewer injuries and falls
  • better balance
  • stronger muscle tone
  • reducing stress

If you want your child to exercise at home, plenty of options don’t require fancy equipment. Your child can do simple exercises like dancing, jumping jacks, sit-ups, and more anywhere without money spent on equipment.

 

6. Have an Ergonomic Setup 

The next step in helping your child develop good posture is to set an ergonomic setup for them at home. The best place for your child to do homework, play video games, and surf the web is a standing or sitting desk that allows them to change positions easily.

 

Here are some tips for getting your child’s workspace ready:

 

  • Find a comfortable chair with good back support. Make sure it has armrests, too.
  • Use a computer monitor that’s at eye level and on a desk that’s at elbow height. The monitor should be about 20 inches away from their face, so they can see it clearly without tilting their head or neck forward. If you have multiple monitors, ensure they’re all in the same position so everyone can see them equally easily.
  • Use an ergonomic keyboard tray if one isn’t built into your keyboard stand, and ensure it fits comfortably under the desk.

 

7. Have Them Stretch Regularly

Children should stretch before doing any physical activity — whether playing sports or simply running around outside — to ensure they’re getting enough oxygen into their lungs and blood flow throughout their bodies. Stretching also helps prevent injuries like twisting an ankle while playing sports or falling while playing outside. Moreover, stretching before and after exercise can also help improve your child’s posture by increasing flexibility while reducing muscle tension and pain.

 

8. Make Sure They Wear Their Backpack Properly

Backpacks are a convenient way to carry your child’s books and other materials, but they can also cause back problems if they’re not used properly. The best way to use a backpack is to keep it as light as possible. The heavier the backpack, the more stress it will place on your child’s back and shoulders. Limit the backpack’s weight to 10% of your child’s body weight. Ensure your child wears both straps when wearing a backpack because this will distribute weight more evenly across their shoulders and back.

 

Takeaway

Posture can affect your child’s well-being for years to come. As parents, it’s important to remember that posture problems can occur at any age and should not be ignored until they worsen. Try these tips today!

If you have concerns about your child’s health, don’t hesitate to contact the Children’s Medical Centers of Fresno. Call (559) 455-1500 or schedule an appointment online