W-sitting and your toddler’s health

W-sitting and your toddler’s health

You may have noticed your toddler sitting in the W position and have wondered if it is okay for them to do so. The answer is absolutely not! Here are a few reasons why your toddler should not be W-sitting during playtime.

Hip distortion: When toddlers sit in this position, their hips are externally rotated. This  puts a huge amount of pressure on the internal aspect of the hip joint. Sitting like this causes the muscles that surround the joint to contract and become shortened. This can cause problems with walking later in life and also places the hip at a higher risk of dislocation.

Knee and foot distortion: When the hips are externally rotated in the W-sitting position, this causes the knees to become extremely internally rotated and the ankles externally rotated. The forces acting on the hips and knees when there is any sort of extreme rotation will inevitably cause spasm and contracture through certain muscles and the Achilles tendon.

Poor development of core muscles: Because W-sitting causes the toddler to be stabilized by the external rotation of the legs, they do not engage their core muscles to help them sit upright. Therefore, the core muscles are also unable to provide feedback about balance and spatial awareness.

Lack of cross-body co-ordination: This is directly related to the fact that the core muscles are not being engaged. When there is a lack of muscle stability in the abdomen, there is also a lack of cross-body movement. This cross-body movement is the essential key when it comes to toddlers crawling and later when they begin to walk. When a toddler is W-sitting, you will notice that the right arm stays on the right side of the body and does not cross over to the left and vise-versa. Bilateral movements are vital for proper brain development, and are also needed for other important milestones later in life such as reading and writing.

If you’ve noticed that your toddler has developed a pattern of W-sitting, call YOUR HEALTH Wellness Center today  and book an appointment with Dr. Carole Smith. For more information on W-sitting check out the full article at: http://www.yummymummyclub.ca/family/toddlers/20121001/the-dreaded-w-sitting-in-toddlers