Children Can Be A Pain In The Back

Children Can Be A Pain In The Back
A recent survey reveals that over eighty percent of Mums suffer back pain which is directly related to caring for their young children.

Mums list pregnancy as well as the day-to-day lifting and carrying of their children as the main reasons but the survey also highlighted that a significant proportion of these mums (73%) also link back pain to pushing, folding or lifting pushchairs.

The survey also revealed just how often women use their pushchairs:
Bullet 84% of women are using their pushchairs up to 3 times a day
Bullet 91% are folding or unfolding them up to 3 times a day
Bullet 87% are pushing them between three and ten miles a week.
Bullet 47% are frequently lifting them in and out of the car

In response to the survey, Backcare has joined forces with pushchair and pram manufacturer Maclaren to create a 'Top Ten Tips', providing advice on what to look for when choosing the right pushchair along with general tips on how to care for your back when looking after young children.

Back in 1965, Owen Maclaren, a former test pilot and aeronautical engineer, saw his daughter struggling with her bulky, cumbersome pram and was inspired to design something more user-friendly. He created a portable, lightweight yet sturdy buggy for her with a unique umbrella-fold mechanism. Thus the first Maclaren buggy was born and went onto revolutionise baby transport and become an iconic design. The company has continued in this innovative vein and today each buggy is ergonomically optimised to promote comfort and good posture.

Top Ten Tips For Mums on How to Look After Their Backs

1. Look for a buggy with good handle height to keep yours arms in a good pushing position - this will help keep your head, neck and back in the correct alignment.
2. When pushing your buggy you should keep your shoulders down and relaxed and your elbows in.
3. Make sure the buggy you choose has a frame that allows you to swing your legs fully in front when walking.
4. Opt for a lightweight buggy, especially if you are always lifting it in and out of the car.
5. Make sure your buggy is easy to fold/unfold.
6. When lifting your child try not to bend over, instead bend at the knees and squat next to your baby. Hold your baby close to you and straighten up from the knees. 'Bend your knees, not your back' is the key to lifting small children.
7. If you are picking up a toddler, put one foot in front of the other, bend at your knees and encourage them to 'walk' up your front leg.
8. Avoid carrying your child on one hip - instead carry them in front of your body with their legs around your hips.
9. Exercise your back regularly - many exercises and activities can help you keep your back fit and healthy. Yoga, walking and swimming are particularly popular.
10. Use a well-designed backpack, such as the one BackCare has available that spreads the weight evenly over your shoulders to carry your baby equipment - not a single sling bag.

Please note the aforementioned tips do not constitute medical advice and information displayed on should not be used to replace medical advice received from qualified (healthcare) professionals, Maclaren is not in a position to recommend any specific treatment, product or therapy.

Sash Newman, Chief Executive for BackCare comments: 'A pushchair is one of the most important pieces of baby equipment a parent buys - they will be using it constantly for years, not just months. If you choose one that has the wrong handle height for you, is too heavy, or is difficult to fold and lift then you could be storing up some real problems for the future.'
She continues, 'When choosing a pushchair women should be looking for good handle height - too short and you'll be bending your back. The frame design should allow you to take a full stride, it should also be light to lift and easy to fold. We have found all these elements in Maclaren Buggies.'

May 2009

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