09 Sep Finding Balance in Fall
Fall is a time of year when parents are searching for balance between all the changes in their children’s daily lives. Schedules are shifted around to fit in new activities and driving routes. It also can feel like an unsettling time for children as they adapt as if they are standing on one leg. Although many parents realize that balance is important for emotional well being, they don’t often know how well a child should balance him or herself when actually standing on one leg as compared to figuratively.
A simple method to determine good balance in a child is if they can stand on one foot for as many seconds as they are in age. For example, a child should be able to stand on one foot for at least four seconds if he or she is four years old. Difficulties with balance could be due to several reasons involving proper function of the eyes, ears, sensory system, muscles, joints, etc. A difference between the two legs can also be a sign of abnormalities that need to be assessed. Decreased balance skills can go unnoticed and often are attributed to clumsiness but should be taken seriously and not assumed to be just a stage out of which a child will eventually grow.
I hope you find this tip helpful. If your child is having difficulty with balance skills, you should consult with your doctor about having an occupational therapist or physical therapist conduct an evaluation and create a treatment plan if deemed necessary. Have a playful day!
Amy Baez, MOT, OTR/L
Amy Baez is a pediatric occupational therapist, award-winning handwriting author, and Founder of Playapy. For more information about Playapy’s publications, visit www.playapy.com or email [email protected].