Toting Tots: Lifting Tips for Parents
You were up all night. The baby’s crying. The telephone is ringing and the kettle is boiling. For most parents, this is a daily scenario. Parents are also continually faced with strenuous physical demands such as chasing, lifting, feeding, and comforting children.
Studies show that parenthood is a proven risk factor for back problems in both men and women.
The mechanism leading to back pain is believed to be associated with the repetitive lifting of children. Consider the fact that parents may be lifting a 7-10 pound baby 50 times a day. By 12 months the child weighs approximately 17-pounds, and at 2 years, that child has become a 25-30 pound toddler.
What’s a parent to do?… Well, here are some simple tips that can help parents avoid aches, sprains, and strains.
Safe Lifting: The Basics
Stand with your feet at least a shoulder’s width apart, this will give you a stable base of support. Keep your back as straight as possible and bend your knees. Lift using both arms and your thigh muscles, which are amongst the largest and strongest muscles in the body. When carrying and moving a child, pivot with your feet until you are facing your destination then lower the child into the crib or onto the floor by bending at the knees, with a straight back.
Hold your child in an upright position, directly against your chest. Carrying a child on one hip creates postural imbalances that can lead to low back pain over time.
Always sit in a chair with back support and refrain from leaning forward to reach the child’s mouth, which can strain your back. Instead, use pillows or blankets to support and position the child.
With all the responsibilities of parenthood, it is difficult to find the time to relax and stay in shape. Many new parents find that simply stretching for 10 minutes while the children nap enhances their energy level, while allowing them to stay flexible and avoid familiar aches and pains.
There is no room for back pain in parenthood. Studies show that chiropractic care is increasingly recognized as the safest and most effective solution for most patients with back pain.