Does your stroller fit you and your children?

By Andrya Carnes - Patient Care Coordinator - Physical Therapy Solutions, PSC

During the holidays, many parents use a stroller to transport children through airports, in shopping malls, and in various other public places. In order to prevent injury and discomfort, it is important to keep in mind some simple rules so that backache doesn’t spoil your holiday. Simple tips in using a stroller correctly can prevent injury and pain.

The first thing a parent should do is make sure that the stroller fits them properly. According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), you should look for a stroller that will fit your height and will also promote a comfortable stride. Most commonly, someone pushing a stroller is in a “hunched over” position and locking their elbows. According to the APTA, when you are using a stroller remember to keep your head and chin up and ears above your shoulders. Your shoulders need to be down and back, lead with your chest, always staying as close as you can to the stroller. Do not lock your arms, making sure they remain slightly bent while keeping your wrists straight. Use your entire body, not just your arms, to push the stroller. This helps to reduce the force on your back and reduce the risk of back injury.

Parents who like to run with a stroller should also keep good posture and choose those that are designed for this activity. You should also consider your terrain and make sure they will roll easily over all surfaces, and that they can navigate curbs. Only a stroller made for jogging should be used for jogging. Additionally, strollers are not safe for children until they are over 6 months of age, unless your stroller is made to recline. Otherwise, use a stroller that allows the car seat to strap in. This is because newborns cannot lift their heads or maintain their own posture. If you have pain during any activity, you should consult a qualified health care provider for evaluation and proper treatment.

By Andrya Carnes

Patient Care Coordinator

Physical Therapy Solutions, PSC

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