Country Child recently caught up with Kevin Partridge from the Trinity Practice who explained the marvel of rapid growth in our children.
Watching children grow, learn and play is a great joy of parenthood. There can’t be many parents who have not been amazed at the speed of growth, learning and questioning of their children,not to mention the speed at which they grow.
Physically they grow at a sprint! Boys reach half their adult height at around 24 months, girls at around 19 months. Between the ages of 1 and 10 children grow about 7 1/2 cm per year, gaining about 2 kg per year.
Alongside this physical growth, comes immense learning; a two-year-old knows between 25 and 225 words, whereas a 10 year old knows over 10,000 words. You can test yourself at www.testyourvocab.com - it’s good fun and it helps in their research too!
Very quickly, our offspring become bigger, stronger and smarter.
We hear and read so much about childhood obesity and excessive screen time that it can become somewhat overwhelming. The American Academy of Paediatrics suggest limiting 2-5 year olds to 1 hour a day of high quality programmes. Confusingly, at the same time a huge international project finds that it is too complicated to dictate how much time our children spend in front of screens. Instead, we are far better off ensuring that the time children spend is monitored, controlled and used positively.
As Osteopaths we see children with aches, pains and injuries. These often come from sports injuries and developmental changes.
Children's growth comes mainly from their long bones (arms and legs), with their spines growing much more slowly. Not only do their limbs and bodies grow at different rates, but their left and right sides and muscles can grow at slightly different rates too. During a growth spurt children can grow 1 cm in 1 month. This can lead to temporary clumsiness, and whilst it can cause some amusement, it can also result in sprains and strains.
The magic tonic for children is activity. Not necessarily sport if they don’t enjoy it, but something to get them moving, help their strength, breathing, balance, coordination and mood.
The NHS suggests that children aged 5-18 years should do at least 60 minutes per day of moderate exercise (cycling/playground activities) to vigorous exercise (running/tennis) and on three of those days the exercises should be good for strength (press ups) and bone strength (running/jumping).
As osteopaths, we often treat children with aches and pains, we are also trained in developmental issues such as Sever’s disease of the heel, Osgood-Schlatter knee and Scheuermann’s disease of the spine. All conditions which, if well managed, normally settle well without any lasting problems.
With so much research out there proving one thing and disproving another, it’s easy to get frustrated and confused by it all. But, hopefully, as you read this you’ll be thinking; “well, that’s all common sense anyway!” The experts at the Trinity Practice are on hand for advice and gentle treatment if needed.
Kevin can be reached via the practice here