By: Nicole – Some Call It Natural
Some of you may not know that I am a chiropractor. This absolutely plays a part in the way we do certain things in our child rearing. Not only am I a chiropractor, but so is my dad, my husband, and many other family members.
There were a few things that my parents bugged me about that most kids parents don’t even think about and because I want your kids to be as healthy as possible, I wanted to share the list with you!
I won’t bore you with a lot of details on why all these things can be harmful for your health, but I will give you a little snippet. If you have more questions about any of them, feel free to ask in the comments and I would be happy to elaborate.
Here is the list in no particular order of importance…
1. “Pop” their neck/back.
This one is hopefully an obvious one. Although, if you have been letting your kids do it because you don’t feel it’s worth the fight, let me tell you it is. Please get them to stop now. It will only cause them trouble as they get older.
2. Sit with legs off to the side and hip diagonal
Sitting with legs to side is a no no
When you do this on a regular basis, it trains your hip bones to be in that position. And, because everything is connected, it can cause a domino effect and other spinal bones can misalign as well.
3. Sleep on stomach
Again… when you sleep on your stomach, you are forcing your head to be turned for an extended period of time. It’s not meant to work that way. To prove it… right now… turn your head to the right or left and leave it there for 10 minutes. I guarantee when you turn it back straight, it will be a bit stiff. It may even be a little painful. When you do this all night long, you are setting yourself up for problems. Your neck is so important!
4. Play football
Okay, fine… this is just MY rule. I will openly admit, not all chiropractors have this rule. I’m including it anyway, though, because I think it’s important to realize what we are doing to our kids bodies at such a young age. Their little spines are not made to be tackled and bashed around like they are when you are hit in a football game. (or hockey) Just something to think about…
5. Have head down looking at a screen (texting, playing ds, iPod, etc.)
You may already know this one… They have even come up with a “diagnosis” for what happens if you do it… “Text Neck”.
“For every inch of Forward Head Posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds.” – Kapandji, in Physiology of Joints Vol 3
This, of course, will put extra strain on the neck and WILL cause your child problems in the future.
6. Lie down with head propped up on side of couch
No propping head up on couch
I get that it’s comfortable. You lie on the couch and prop on your hand with your elbow on the couch. Or maybe your head is up on the arm of the couch. Either way, your neck is bent in a way it is not meant to bend. At least not for the entire length of a television show.
7. Wear a backpack on their back with only one strap or carrying a backpack that is too heavy.
When your child carries their backpack on one shoulder instead of using both straps to carry it on both shoulders, it is causing them to put their bodies in unnatural positions that can lead to problems. If they have a backpack on one shoulder, they will naturally, whether they realize it or not, compensate by bringing the other shoulder up. This causes a positioning that will tweak the spine. Doing this every day will lead the spine to shift, which can lead to health problems.
The same concept applies to a backpack that is too heavy. Even if the backpack is being carried using both shoulders, if it is too heavy it will cause the child to stand in a position in which he is not meant to stand. The backpack pulls the child back with its weight, and so the child will lean forward to compensate, causing an unnatural compression/contortion of the spine.
So, really, why is all of this such a big deal??
One of our main jobs as a parent is to keep our kids safe, right?
Well, shouldn’t that also include making sure they do what needs to be done now to be healthy adults?
Isn’t that why we have them brush their teeth every day? So they don’t have rotten teeth as adults?
The same goes for all these tips. If we want our kids to grow up to be healthy adults, these tips will help them along in that journey.
Of course, doing only these things will not create an adult with no problems. They still should get checked regularly by a chiropractor, go to their dentist, eat healthy foods, get plenty of rest and so on.
I do hope these tips help you help your kids grow up to be healthy adults!
More great articles like this one can be found on Nicole’s website…