Experts warning: Why your child should NEVER, EVER sit like this

Parents are being told to keep an eye on this

Editor / May 16 2019

Parents who have toddlers may well be familiar with their kids kneeling while they're playing or watching TV. 

But now this ‘W’ shape – when the child sits on their bottom with both knees bent and their legs flicked out, has caused doctors to issue a warning to parents. 

According to The Paediatric Therapy Centre in Australia, it can strain their legs, ankles and hips, and cause them to walk with toes turned inwards, leading to potential problems with balance and development. 

If not addressed before your child hits two-years-old, the position could also affect a child’s core strength and motor skills, which could affect their ability to run and jump.

And while most parents don't want to disturb a content toddler who is playing quietly, it’s advised that you encourage them to shift to a different position if you see them sitting like this. 

 Dr Sam Hay tells parents to be vigilant but rational about things.“I think the first thing I want to say to parents is: don't panic if your child sits like this occasionally.” 

 

Getty

Getty

 

“The W position means the hips, knees, and ankles are held at the extremes of their range for extended periods,” says Dr Sam.

“This puts extra strain on the joints and their ligaments, which can cause problems down the track.”

He adds, “It's especially important for the hips, because the extra strain from the W position will put them at extra risk of a serious problem called hip dysplasia. At it's worst, hip dysplasia leads to poor walking, running, and severe arthritis into early adult years.

“The W position also really effects core stability, upper body mobility and strength, which will further affect coordination, and even the transition to developing a dominant hand and their writing skills,” he adds.

If you’re worried about your child's walking or sitting habits, you should talk to your GP.

 

Frances Sheen has been a magazine and website journalist & editor for the last 20 years - both in Australia and the UK. She's appeared on countless TV and radio shows to discuss parenting and launched her own social media parenting brand. She's the mum of two little girls and juggles that with a busy working life.