In our second installment to our "Children and Chiropractic" series, we will discuss Chiropractic care for toddlers. The toddler age group is a really fun and exciting period in a child's development. They are more active and learning how to navigate with their fine and gross motor skills. They are becoming more adventurous and trying to test limits for both their own physical abilities and also testing their parent's tolerance too.
This is a time where the child is learning to walk, run, jump and climb. They are more likely to fall on their bottoms numerous times during the day while they learn how to perform these new skills. With the multiple falls, this puts a lot of pressure and strain on their pelvic muscles, ligaments and bones. The pelvic bones, the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) and the iliums, can become restricted to normal movements when the child fall on their bottom. I like to describe it as a "jamming" of these bones together. When the pelvic bones are not able to move properly, we call that a restriction or subluxation. Toddlers could show outward signs of pain, such as not wanting to sit or fussing more when they are sitting in their car seat or high chair. If I have a pediatric patient that has a new behavior of being fussy in their car seat or high chair, I immediately evaluate their pelvis for subluxation patterns. If the pelvis is not able to move properly, this will cause discomfort to the child when they are being forced into a seated position.
During this time period, toddlers should be walking, or at least, crawling. If they are not meeting their developmental milestones, this could also be another sign that their pelvis is not moving the way that it should be. If the bones of the pelvis, most specifically, the iliums are not rocking forward and backward, then the child will have a hard time moving their legs forward and backward. This will impede their ability to walk or even crawl. When the iliums are not moving properly, some kids will even have an appearance of waddling or will circumduct their leg around to bring it forward. If you are noticing that your child has a delay in their ability to crawl or walk, this would be a great time to take your child to a Pediatric Chiropractor.
Constipation in this age group is also another big topic. During this time period, it is very common for children to experience harder stools or fewer stools during the day. Kids should have at least 2 - 3 bowel movements each day (as should adults). When we release restrictions in the pelvis, this allows the child to pass stools much more easily. I also always recommend a good probiotic for kids. Having a healthy mixture of good bacteria in their GI tract will also help with constipation issues. Lastly, making sure your kids are drinking plenty of water. Dehydration will also lead to constipation. Make sure they have a water bottle with them at all times and encourage them to drink plain water. Fruit juices, sodas and sugary drinks do NOT count towards their overall hydration.
Just because a child isn't showing outward symptoms of subluxation, does not mean that they don't HAVE subluxations. Catching these areas of restriction early is key to preventing issues down the road. Chiropractic evaluations are an integral part of a family's WELLNESS CARE.
If you are noticing any of the above symptoms or would like to incorporate Chiropractic into your family's wellness plan, please bring your child into a Pediatric Chiropractor. We have been specifically trained to work with children in evaluating and adjusting with the proper techniques for kids. Wellness care for kids is also vital to ensure that they continue to grow and thrive with a healthy spine and nervous system.