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 June is Correct Posture Month

Does your little boy slouch at the dinner table? Does your daughter carry a heavy backpack over one shoulder? Do your children spend hours on end hunched over a computer keyboard surfing the net?

This June, during Correct Posture Month sponsored by the American Chiropractic (ACA), talk to your local doctor of chiropractic about ways to alleviate the problems that poor posture can cause the children in your household. A doctor of chiropractic can tell you if your child’s slouching is a bad habit or a warning signal, or if a heavy backpack is going to be the source of future spinal problems.

" For years, parents have told their children to "stand up straight" without really knowing why it is so important," said Dr. Jerome McAndrews, spokesperson for the ACA. "Poor posture can result in not only muscle pains, strains, spinal problems, decreased lung capacity and digestive problems, but it can also negatively affect a child’s self-image as well. While standing up straight seems like an obvious way to correct poor posture, there are so many other activities that make up a child’s daily routine that can have an impact on their spinal health."

When you take your child to a doctor of chiropractic, he or she will ask about your child’s health history and conduct a physical exam, ultimately focusing on posture and movements, reflexes, and the spine. The doctor of chiropractic is trained to diagnose any abnormal curvature or loss of flexibility in the spine, and joints or bones that are not moving properly. If there is a problem the doctor of chiropractic can treat it naturally, without drugs or surgery. He or she may recommend adjusting the spine, a gentle treatment that helps your child’s body operate at peak efficiency. The doctor may also offer advice on exercise and nutrition.

Quotes of the week

You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. Henry Ford

A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others. The Great Oz

Tips for Parents

To help encourage a healthy spine, the American Chiropractic Association recommends these tips:

When you lift your baby, always support his or her back and neck with your hands. Pick up an older child by grasping his body under both arms.

Use an approved car seat that supports your baby’s head and neck. Make sure the child safety seat is appropriate for the age and size of the child. A newborn infant requires a different seat than a 3 year old toddler does.

Provide a firm bed for your child. When choosing a mattress, look for one that is comfortably supportive. Although the very firm "table board" mattress used to be in vogue, the ACA says the new industry trend toward "selective support" is best. Selective support allows you to press down one area of a mattress, leaving other areas unaffected.

Be selective when choosing a pillow for your older child. A cervical pillow is recommended to support the neck.

Make sure the straps of your child’s backpack are padded and worn over both shoulders, not just one. Also, the contents of the backpack should not weigh more than 5 to 10 percent of your child’s body weight.

Be sure your child’s workstation is ergonomically correct for his or her size. Most workstations are fitted for adults. Position the computer monitor so the top of the screen is at or below the child’s eye level, and make sure the chair at the workstation fits the child correctly. Place a footrest or box under the feet.

If your child is involved in sports, make sure all equipment, including helmets, pads and shoes, fits your child properly. If your teenage child is involved in soccer, make sure they are taught how to "head" the ball properly. A young child should not use the heading technique at all.

Make sure your child avoids sugar-loaded, caffeinated and carbonated drinks. Rather, encourage them to drink plenty of water. Caffeine can dehydrate your youngster, and the high levels of phosphorous in sodas and other carbonated beverages can interfere with calcium absorption-a problem that could lead to osteoporosis down the road.

Finally, make sure your child eats a well-balanced diet and gets plenty of rest. Consult your doctor of chiropractic about supplements that might be appropriate for your child’s stage of growth.

If your child or a child you know would like a consultation please call my office and schedule a time.

Dr. Catherine Maloof
(949) 581-6543

You may view Dr. Maloof’s website by clicking www.drmaloof.com

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