Kids are super active and require constant surveillance. As a parent, you must ensure that your kid’s posture while performing various activities is strictly ergonomic.
In this guide, we have discussed why ergonomics is essential for your children. Besides that, we have listed all the essential ergonomic safety tips that your kid must comply with.
Let’s start with the basics:
In 2011, a study found that back pain starts occurring at a very early age, and its severity increases over time.
We all are aware that in most cases, back pain is caused due to bad posture. Kids perform various activities throughout the day, and you must ensure that your kid is following the basic ergonomic norms.
The study concluded that 33% of 9-year-old kids and 48% of 15-year-old kids (out of approx. 6000 total students) reported back pain. If you go by the figures, 33% and 48% are huge.
At least one out of every third child is suffering from back pain.
These statics are very alarming and directly indicate that our kids may require medical help at a very early age. It’s not a good sign at all.
As a parent or guardian, you must ensure that your kids don’t suffer from body pain, primarily due to bad ergonomics.
We have listed some of the most common and vital ergonomic safety tips. Let’s have a look:
All the below-mentioned tips are backed by studies conducted at various institutes and in-depth research by our team.
1. Perfect Sitting Posture
Kids spend half of their day sitting down either on the floor or on some surface. You might not have observed your child’s posture yet, but it’s time to keep a keen eye on their sitting posture.
For kids, lousy posture could affect their bone formations and lead to issues such as postural kyphosis.
We understand that it’s not always possible to maintain an ergonomic posture. Still, we suggest you encourage your kid to maintain an ergonomic posture while learning something or working on their school assignments.
Follow the Three Right angle rule:
- While sitting, your child’s back should create a right angle (90 degrees) with thighs.
- There should be a right angle at the Ankle Joint.
- Knees must create an inner right angle, i.e., between thighs and lower legs.
Besides this, you must ensure that while sitting, your kid is in a neutral posture and comfortable throughout the session.
We know it’s tough to keep track of the child’s posture, but we have to do it for their betterment.
2. Desk Ergonomics
Adults don’t usually lean forward while working. However, kids tend to lean over the desk while working. In the long run, this posture could put them in trouble. Therefore, it’s better to avoid such bad postures.
To encourage your kid to sit up with a straight back, you can get them a desk with an adjustable top. If the top is raised towards them, they will find the “though” sit straight posture more comfortable.
3. Ergonomic Children Furniture
Since we have discussed sitting ergonomics, let’s quickly go through this section, where we discuss the benefits of using ergonomic furniture in your kid’s room.
To minimize the strain on your kid’s body while sitting, you must ensure that they have an ergonomically built, well-padded, adjustable chair.
If your kid doesn’t like sitting on a traditional chair and often jumps out of it, you can try active sitting chairs. These chairs have a constant motion that keeps the children interested.
These active chairs promote muscle movement and improve their strength.
4. BackPack Ergonomics
Unfortunately, backpacks are the biggest culprit in early age back pain issues.
Heavy backpacks could cause deformation of your kid’s spine in the long term.
Medical experts have reported that 60% of back-pain issues are caused due to backpacks. 23% of students from elementary school and 33% of students from secondary school have raised back-pain issues.
Backpack ergonomics is a severe matter. You must teach your kid the following points:
- Always wear both shoulder straps.
- While waiting, keep the backpack on the floor.
- Remove extra stuff.
- Use waist and chest clips.
- Slightly bend the knees while picking up the backpack.
- A Backpack should be positioned in-between the back and hips. It shouldn’t be too low or too high.
Check out this guide, If you want detailed information on backpack safety tips for children.
5. Computing Ergonomics for Children
Most schools encourage children to use laptops and computers, and that’s why they give digital assignments.
Using a computer or other gadget is not bad until used under supervision. We have also discussed the maximum screen time for 5-year-old kids in the next section, so check that out.
Here, since we are talking about kids accessing computing devices, we want you to ensure that while using devices, your kid is following the below-mentioned ergonomic tips:
- The Computer or Laptop must be placed on a desk.
- If possible, use external monitors to reduce the blue light.
- Buy the appropriate kid’s peripherals.
- Computer Glasses are essential for kids as their eyes can’t filter blue light as well as we adults do.
- They must use a computer/laptop at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
You have to be strict with your kid while they are using gadgets. The following section will hopefully answer all your queries.
6. Gadgets Usage
Kids are curious to learn new things. You must have often seen your child sneaking into your computer or trying to operate the mobile phone.
These situations seem pretty cute, but experts report that gadgets could affect the mental health of young children.
Besides that, excessive usage of gadgets could affect your kid’s sleep quality, social interactions, and vision.
Experts recommend restricting the usage of gadgets for kids. If possible, keep them away as these gadgets could also affect their hormone levels and make them restless in the long run.
If your kid wants to use a few devices, ensure that they use them under an adult’s supervision.
According to American Health Association, children below five years must have a screen time of less than 1 hour daily.
You can try the below-mentioned steps to keep your child away from gadgets:
- Encourage your kid to grow interested in physical activities or actual games.
- Every day, take your kid out for a quick walk.
- Use timers when they are using devices.
- Avoid using gadgets in front of your kids.
It is quite a task to keep the kids away from devices in this digital era. We can’t always keep the devices away from the children; however, with the above-mentioned ergonomic tips, you can minimize the impact of devices on your kid’s health.
We have provided references to all the research and studies conducted related to children’s ergonomics; if you are interested, you can have a look.