Any parent will know that babies don’t stay feather-light for ever.? So it won’t come as a surprise that after years of picking up your child from baby to post-toddler age, it can have some serious effects on our backs. A new survey has revealed that 83% of Mums suffer back pain directly related to caring for young children.
The survey conducted by Maclaren Buggys and BackCare, ?the charity for healthier backs?, has revealed that 83% of mums suffering from back pain believe it has been caused or exacerbated by their children.
Mums cite pregnancy as well as the day-to-day lifting and carrying of their children as the main reasons but the survey highlighted a significant proportion of these mums (73%) also link back pain to pushing, folding or lifting pushchairs. Sash Newman, chief executive for BackCare said: ?A pushchair is one of the most important pieces of baby equipment a parent buys ? they will be using it constantly for years, not just months.
“If you choose one that has the wrong handle height for you, is too heavy, or is difficult to
fold and lift then you could be storing up some real problems for the future.?
The survey reveals just how often women are using their pushchairs:
- 84% of women are using their pushchairs up to three times a day
- 91% are folding or unfolding them up to times times a day
- 87% are pushing them between three and 10 miles a week.
- 47% are frequently lifting them in and out of the car
In response to the survey, Backcare has joined forces with Maclaren to create a ?Top Ten Tips? providing advice on what to look for when choosing the right pushchair, plus general tips on how to care for your back when looking after young children.
?When choosing a pushchair women should be looking for good handle height ? too short and you?ll be bending your back. The frame design should allow you to take a full stride, it should also be light to lift and easy to fold.
Top 10 tips for mums on how to look after their backs
1. Look for a buggy with good handle height to keep yours arms in a good pushing position – this will help keep your head, neck and back in the correct alignment.
2. When pushing your buggy you should keep your shoulders down and relaxed and your elbows in.
3. Make sure the buggy you choose has a frame that allows you to swing your legs fully in front when walking.
4. Opt for a lightweight buggy, especially if you are always lifting it in and out of the car.
5. Make sure your buggy is easy to fold and unfold.
6. When lifting your child try not to bend over, instead bend at the knees and squat next to your baby. Hold your baby close to you and straighten up from the knees. ?Bend your knees, not your back? is the key to lifting small children.
7. If you are picking up a toddler, put one foot in front of the other, bend at your knees and encourage them to ?walk? up your front leg.
8. Avoid carrying your child on one hip ? instead carry them in front of your body with their legs around your hips.
9. Exercise your back regularly ? many exercises and activities can help you keep your back fit and healthy. Yoga, walking and swimming are particularly popular.
10. Use a well-designed backpack, such as the one BackCare has available** that spreads the weight evenly over your shoulders to carry your baby equipment – not a single sling bag.
These tips and more can also be found on the Maclaren website, www.maclarenbaby.com/gb/backcare. You can also see our product review on strollers for some pointers in the latest in lightweight products.