We keep cutting down on kids’ play time so they can do “more important” things. But this West Coast mom of four writes:
Dear Free-Range Kids:
Today I took my son to the pediatrician for his annual physical. He’s 11. I mentioned the slight turn in of his ankles that I had noticed and wondered if that was cause for concern.
She told me his was slight and caused by weak hip flexor muscles.
She also told me that it’s a common issue and she’s seen some quite severe, and if you’ve ever seen kids who look like they’re walking on their arches, you have too.
Nutshell is that kids are being so inactive that they’re actually causing structural damage to their little frames!
This problem can lead to arthritis and knee issues down the road.
My son had gotten more sedentary going into middle school and becoming more interested in computer programming. He’s going to be sent outside a lot more. More jumping and squatting and running is the prescription to correct this.
We’ve kept our kids so under wraps, we’re causing warping of their frames. How messed up is that?!
Made me think of Free-Range.
Here’s a picture example. https:// rootcausemedicalclinic.com/wp- content/uploads/2016/04/ pronated-foot_optimized.jpg
I wrote back to say I hope it’s reversible!
Yes, it’s reversible since it’s a new weakness but I guess it can become permanent.
Walking to school might help but she emphasized big movements, I’m assuming because it’s hips.
She said “power bursts” were what strengthen it. She suggested he play leap frog with his siblings.
So in kids, it really is all about play. As adults we go to the gym and do squats or whatever but kids should be doing this just through natural occurring play.
Has anyone else seen this particular issue? Doctors? Parents? I’m hoping it is rare, but I like the prescription. – L.