Every day, whether I am at the office, at a restaurant, or walking around town, lo and behold there will be some kid with an iPad or iPhone in front of their face looking down. In fact, on Saturday, April 11th, I counted 7 kids under the age of 10 on some form of technology looking down.
The Kaiser Family Foundation stated that the average 8 – 18 year old will spend roughly 7 hours a day on some form of media device. This study did not include the children less than 8 years old who sit at their dinner tables on their phones, looking down and placing major stress on their necks.
Parents! If you want your kids to experience their potentially healthiest life then:
A) take away their media device, or
B) make them hold it at eye level so they are not looking down.
Yes, some of your kids may cry at first because they are dependent on those devices, but this is about their future. This is about their health and not experiencing the same issues and problems modern day America deals with, and being better than the status quo. I know that I want the best for my daughter, and having her avoid staring at TVs, phones, or any other LED lights at a young age is crucial to her not becoming dependent on those devices later on.
When your kids were born they spent months trying to lift their head up and hold it in place without you having to support their neck. They were building the C-shape curve of the neck, AKA “Arc of Life”, because that is the normal position of the body.
The curve that we were built to have is a 40-degree C-curve, similar to other famous infrastructures (Hoover Dam, Eiffel Tower, etc.). All these structures have this 40-degree C-shaped curve in place as it is the strongest support system to maintain stress, which for children would be the weight of their head. The Hoover Dam supports 656 million gallons of water, the Eiffel Tower holds 10,000 tons of weight, and your neck is holding up your 10-pound head.
When looking down your child is putting all the stress and weight of their head on their upper back, which then translates into more problems in the lower back. Your child spent so much time working to build the C curve in their neck and then when they get technology in front of them, looking down, they reverse that C curve and put pressure on those nerves. Science has shown that for every inch forward the head goes, the weight on the upper back is increased by 10 pounds. For example, if your child’s head is looking at an iPad where their neck is 2 inches forward, then that is 20 pounds of additional weight on their spine.
This is why I love those parents who have become proactive and bring their children for chiropractic check-ups similar to how they do dental check-ups. The gentle chiropractic adjustments help to maintain the C curve and keep the nervous system functioning properly while taking stress off the nerves from improper biomechanics.
In fact, I do not think it’s coincidental that more children come to my office with headaches because of the damage they are doing early on. The long-term effects on these children is too early to tell, but adults who come to the office with computer jobs tend to have earlier stages of degeneration way before my clients who stand or walk throughout the day. The degeneration happens due to the body adapting to the excess weight for many years. If our children lose their C curve too early, then imagine the age at which degeneration could start happening in the spine.
Unfortunately, if this happens America will blame the problem on their 2 favorite excuses: age & genetics.
If our children never fully get to experience this world with the ‘arc of life’in their neck, then they will be missing out on so much life has to offer.
No one knows exactly what symptoms and diagnoses are that contribute to the loss of curve, but what is confirmed is that stress on nerves equates to lower quality of life.
Wake up people! There is a major problem happening literally right in front of our eyes, and we need to be the adults and parents of our children and guide them in healthier decisions. All of us want the best for our children and sometimes we need to do things that our children may not want to hear, but must.
Let your child live their life out to their full expression and be the healthiest version of themselves!