I get this question a lot. Parents will tell me their kids are so young….“They don’t need to be adjusted do they?” My answer is a resounding YES! Like adults, children have a spine and good alignment and balance allows for good posture, movement, and functionality. When born the baby’s bones are mostly cartilage and muscles are undeveloped. Their spine is “C” shaped. Over the first year, the child develops strength in their muscles, enough so that they begin to lift their head, hold their body in a sitting position and eventually begin to walk. When the child starts to push up onto all fours, the neck and low back curves begin to develop. When upright, the child should be straight and upward. Sometimes there can be a side-to-side curvature called scoliosis. Scoliosis can vary from mild to severe and in severe cases can compromise internal organs and other structures.
How do you know if your child’s spine is on track developmentally? You can help determine your child’s spinal health with a simple posture test. Make sure the ears, shoulders, and hips are even when looking at the child from the back. Look at the feet and make sure they aren’t toeing in or out. When your child bends forward at the waist, make sure there isn’t a “hump” on either side of the spine (when looking from the back) Check your child from the side and make sure the ear, shoulder, hip, back of knee and ankle line up. Simply email Info@YostFamilyChiropractic.com (putting “posture check” in the subject) if you would like a handout with this information (and more) on it. For a more detailed evaluation, find a clinic that specializes in pediatric care looking for a doctor that has CACCP, DACCP or DICCP behind their name (stands for Certification or Diplomate (highest level) in pediatric and pregnancy care).
Just as you believe in getting regular “tune ups” from your dentist, pediatrician and optometrist make sure your children benefit from that type of thinking as well when it comes to a chiropractor.
Guest Article provided by Dr. Heather Yost, DACCP. For more information, contact her at YostFamilyChiropractic.com or 515-278-YOST (9678).