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5 signs your child needs a new study space

10 January, 2017

1. Your child has poor posture when seated at their workstation.

Poor posture can be caused by many reasons: weak core muscles, joint dysfunction, pain or ill-fitting furniture.

Signs of poor posture include:

  • Slumping forwards creating a C-shaped spine
  • Raised shoulders
  • Resting head of non-dominant hand to write
  • Feet not touching the ground
  • Head forward of and not in line with the shoulders

2. Your child fidgets

Being restless and uncomfortable is very distracting and takes focus away from the homework at hand. Sometimes this can be due to an inappropriate desk set up. Other times this can be caused by retained primitive reflexes. These can cause your child to fidget & move about - not focusing on their work at hand.

3. Your child has eye complaints or pain

Complaining of eye strain, squinting, headaches, tight muscles, neck stiffness or back pain can be a sign that your child’s work space is not suitable to their current needs.

Firstly, you can try to reposition the desk, chair and computer set up and reassess the light source to see if this makes a difference.

Depending on the complaint, it may be worthwhile getting an Optometrist or Chiropractor to perform a thorough assessment to resolve complaints and prevent future complications such as chronic pain. 

Your chiropractor will also provide specific advice in order to correctly set up the desk for your child.

4. Your child has had a recent growth spurt

As your child grows so too should their study space. When a child is huddled over a desk it can cause long-term damage to the neck, upper back, shoulders and lower back.

Some of these complaints you may have noticed in yourself. They frequently start early in life but this is when it is easier to make small changes to have a positive lasting impact. For example, people don’t wake up over night with a hunched back; this occurs slowly over time and can be difficult to manage once it has progressed beyond a certain point.

5. Your child refuses to use the space

We all innately know what’s good for us and what isn’t. It might be that “good feeling” after a run, being bloated after a pig out, stiffness and pain after a TV binge. Sometimes kids can’t find the words but just know something isn't right and downright refuse. At other times, they are just plain fussy.

Fussiness can be a sign that your child has retained primitive reflexes or sensory processing problems. It can also be a sign that the equipment is not suited to their current needs.

If you suspect that your child’s workspace is not suitable for them or that they have any postural developmental concerns, please speak with our one of our paediatric-trained Chiropractors. They will assess your child’s posture, brain and nervous system maturity through primitive reflexes and tight, immobile joints and muscles.

Most commonly, home exercises are given together with gentle, child-focused therapy such as stretching, massage and mobilisations.

Appointments available in Moonee Ponds or online.

About the Author

Dr Cassie Atkinson-Quinton - Paediatric-Trained Chiropractor & Paediatric Sleep Coach

Dr Cassie is a paediatric-trained chiropractor, sleep coach and, most importantly, mumma to Master H. She loves seeing newborns grow into inquisitive toddlers and busy school kids. She assesses for neurological development (primitive reflexes), posture, sleep health and movement patterns. She's an eager learning just like the kids she sees.

"It's better to grow healthy children than fix injured adults."