Bad habits are hard to break. It’s difficult to get rid of bad habits developed during the early years of our life. Children generally cannot focus as well as adults can and for children, it is very difficult to maintain a proper posture all the time. But proper posture must always be encouraged to children because it is highly related to their ability to focus which affects their growth and academic achievement.
Infants and young children are so flexible that even if they have a bad posture, many of the times, they do not even feel pain and it is difficult for the parents to notice that their children have a poor posture because children are not yet able to express the discomfort they’re feeling adequately. Children grow up fast and poor posture significantly affects their growth. Also, the parents could fail to notice posture-related problems like scoliosis because they develop too quickly.
Slouched posture can cause scoliosis or Text Neck Syndrome. Scoliosis is a condition in which the spine curves to the left or right, creating a C- or S-shaped curve. Slouched posture can cause or worsen scoliosis. If one leg is longer than the other, if you feel pain in your knees or ankles or if your one of the strap of your backpack slides off your shoulder, you might have scoliosis.
Text Neck Syndrome or Turtle Neck Syndrome is a condition in which the neck which should have a natural C-shaped curve become too straight or comes in front of your shoulders like a turtle head. It can happen from excessive use of smartphones or reading books for extended periods of time in a slouched posture. Text Neck Syndrome can hinder children’s growth and can also cause loss of concentration and headache.
Sitting on a chair that’s not right for the body causes slouched posture. If the feet don’t touch the floor, the spine receives the entire weight of the body and it can strain the back. Also, if the chair is too low, the shoulders can rise and this can cause tension and pain in the shoulders. You should provide a chair that is height adjustable for your growing children. Also, the chair should be able to tilt backwards about 10 degrees. Make sure your children sit straight up in the chair with their back against the backrest and knees bent 90 degrees.
A pillow that is too high can also affect spine health, If the pillow is too high or too stiff, it can strain the neck and spine. It can also affect blood circulation and cause fatigue and tension headache. The neck should not be bent or lifted when laying on the pillow. A pillow that is about 4 to 5 cm high is recommended for maintaining a healthy and natural neck curve.
Children should avoid reading or using smartphone while lying down on their stomach. A smartphone stand should be used when using smartphone so that the head doesn’t bend down and a book stand that is at eye level should be used when reading. Also, when watching TV, the TV should not be too close and the back needs to be straight.
Children’s backpack should not be too heavy and must fit snugly on children’s back. It’s also important to adjust the shoulder straps properly. The straps should be tight enough so that there is only space for a fist to go in. If the backpack is too low, it could move around too much and children can easily lose balance and fall down.
Make sure heavy items are placed higher in the backpack. If the heavy items are too far away from the back, the center of gravity shift away from the body and the shoulders and back can receive strain. Cross bags put more strain on the shoulders and back than normal backpacks so make sure they are not worn for too long and are worn alternatively on both shoulders.