How good proprioception can help our child's body be strong and well balanced!
It is so important for a child entering school because knowing where they are in space helps them sit still in class for learning, and move their bodies well for play.
Proprioception is the ability to know where we are in space so that we can then control our body appropriately to keep ourselves balanced and strong.
Proprioception occurs as the eyes, inner ears and all the joints in our body detect where we are in space and the position our body is in. This information gets sent to the brain so that it can decide how to maintain balance and keep us safe from falling.
Whether we are moving, or sitting or standing still, the brain is constantly receiving proprioceptive information which helps to keep us balanced.
Proprioception also helps us to know where our body ends, and another person or thing starts. This is especially important because as a child moves into a more social setting of school this sense of self and body awareness will support healthy play and friendship building.
Learn an effective way to determine how well proprioception is working for balance!
Get your child to stand with their feet together, and close their eyes. If this system isn’t working well then balance becomes tricky and swaying or falling to the side and losing balance occurs.
Good balance helps a child to remain upright whether they are still, moving or on a wobbly or mobile surface. If a child has good balance they don’t fall easily on bikes or scooters, and they are willing to try to stand on a mat in a pool or a wobble board. A child with good balance will engage in ‘tight rope’ walking on narrow objects and can walk heel to toe in a straight line easily.
Signs your child having trouble with their balance:
- They appear clumsy and fall often
- They struggle to sit still and concentrate for any length of time
- They seem fidgety and uncomfortable if doing so.
- Difficulty with balance can also show up as trouble riding a bike or being on a mobile object, avoidance of ‘balancing’ beams or objects and dislike of spinning equipment
- You might also have noticed your child struggles with understanding the personal space of others, and always seems too ‘close for comfort’ when playing with other children
- They may not have a clear picture of where their body ends and another starts
Supporting optimal proprioception and balance is one of our main goals as Chiropractors because it gives children a sense of certainty about where their body is and helps them to use it effectively. This makes a child more at ease, calm and ready to learn and play.
If you have any questions about your child’s proprioception or balance, you can book in a free 15 minute phone consultation with me, Dr Amanda, to find out how you can support your child.