Professionals have been warning parents to keep their children from kicking their knees into the W-shaped position as it could drastically affect them later in life.
In this particular position — children sit on their bottoms with their knees bent, feet tucked under and their legs splayed out to the side, which looks like a “W.”
This is a very common position for children because it makes them feel both supported and secure.
Young kids who are flexible are often able to fold their limbs in a variety of uncomfortable-looking arrangements — which for most, usually becomes impossible later in life as our bodies begin to give in to old age.
The Pediatric Therapy Center has recently issued a warning against children bending their knees at the awkward W-angle — where kiddos can be often seen doing to keep their balance when they sit on the floor to play or draw.
As reported by Women’s Health, the professionals say this particular position can be the cause of multiple issues. Kids who continue to sit in this position after their second birthday may not properly develop the core strength and balance they need for certain motor skills — such as jumping and running.
Sitting in the W-position does not just impact core strength, but also may leave children with tight muscles in the legs, hips and ankles — possibly leading them to a hip dislocation.
Extensive use of the pose may leave children pigeon-toed, or walking with ones toes turned in.
In a video by Movement Rx, a company specializing in wellness and physical therapy, Dr. Claudia Chaloner explained how habitually adopting this pose can lead to the orthopedic issues in the joints.
“Not only is this bad for our hips, knees and ankles, but it also delays our postural muscles and gaining that core stability that we need, especially when we grow up to do weight lifting or any kind of sport.
We can also cause some decrease in joint integrity because we are at that end range of our position and it can cause some laxity in the joint capsules, which is never a good thing.
We also get a delay in not only these postural muscles but gross motor skills, coordination and balance.”
The doctor also encouraged children to sit in other positions, like cross-legged.
The W-Sitting puts stress on the hip abductors, hamstrings, internal rotators and the heel cords.
And it should be noted that dislocation is very easy and common with kids who sit in this position.
This position also leads to shortened or tightened muscles, affecting the development of motor skills, balance, and coordination.
Also, the “W-sitting” results in less need for stability, postural control, and weight shift during play. It also weakens the trunk muscles as well as hinders development.
The only way to halt or fix the habit is with consistency. Teach your children how to sit correctly and remind them of how to sit on the floor. A parent could also invest in a small desk or table with a chair.
And while not all “W” sitters will have severe issues, it can elevate risks.
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