According to an article in New York Times recently, it shows that there are approximately 30 million American elementary students that are using computers. As result of this increased computer usage, chiropractors are treating more younger patients as an effect of extensive work on computer stations, which is very alarming because this condition are more likely occur to adults. These days many children are already experiencing repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome or long-term pain in neck, shoulders, back and hands.
Cornell University had conducted an study and shows that there are about 40 percent of young children are already suffering from postural risk and the 60 percent indicates a certain concern.
Dr. Scott Bautch, one of the members of the American Chiropractic Association on Occupational Health, he suggests that children should be teach on how to use the computer workstations properly. Being exposed to computer workstations during the child’s developmental years may have an effect that they may carry through their older years. Parents should be concerned regarding this issue because they child may carry this through their lifetime.
What can you do?
In order to avoid the possibility of your child suffering from pain and injuries that may disable them, the American Chiropractic Association on Council on its Occupational Health provides several tips:
- In the event that adults and children in your household are sharing one computer workstation, be sure that it should be modified for every child’s use.
- Place the computer monitor on an eye level position of the child, if the monitor is too high be sure to put some phone books or firm pillows for the to sit in for them to reach the appropriate height.
- Be sure that the chair at the computer workstation fits your child. Using an ergonomic cushion, rolled-up towel or pillow can be placed at the back of the child for them to have a support. There must be 2 inches between front edge and back of the knees. There should be an arm that can support the child’s arm.
- Wrist must be held on a neutral place while typing, it means it should not be angled up or down. The surface, where they can mouse must be placed near the keyboard for them avoid reaching too hard just to use it.
- Their knees must be positioned at about 90 to 120 degree. In order to accomplish this angle. Let them place their foot into a stool, foot rest or box.
- Be sure that there’s enough lighting in the workstation for them avoid eyestrain; it is also important that they should use an antiglare screen to avoid eyestrain as well.
- When they are using the computer make sure to limit their time or hours in front of the computer. Make sure to let them know that after they use the computer or during breaks is to stretches first to avoid pain after several hours in front of computer.
- In order for the muscles to work properly, let your child drink about 8 glasses of water each day for them to avoid injury. Carbonated beverages like sweet drinks, juices and other drinks are not an alternative.
- During PTA meetings be sure to advise school officials to provide information and education on accurate computer ergonomics as well as to install an ergonomically correct computer workstations.
In the occasion that your child complains that they are experiencing pain or stain from staying in front of computer, it is best to contact the nearest chiropractor in your area. Chiropractors are expert people when providing a cost-effective and drug-free treatment.