08 August 2008

Hindering the physical and neurological development of children

As reported before: Extended time, flat on the back, lacking sensual interaction is a form of deprivation for developing human beings. The average child might now spend extended time in a 'convenient' capsule. “Parents are not picking up their infants when the infants are awake... you get a stroller and car seat combo. And because the car seat snaps in and out of the stroller and the vehicle, often the baby simply stays put after reaching a destination.” These “mobility” gadgets might appear as a convenient life saver” for parents in their 4x4s/cars.

For the capsule-bound and interaction-deprived infant it often means:

In recent years, craniofacial centers and primary care providers reported a dramatic increase of up to 600 percent in referrals for misshapen heads.” Various service industries and products (eg cranial helmets) have sprung up, promising 'corrections' of the unintentional cranial modification. The hindered development of the neurological network will most likely be a life-long handicap.

Experts are urging “parents and caregivers to ensure that babies get enough "tummy time" throughout the day while they are awake and supervised. Quality interaction is needed to produce a human being through interactive behaviour. "Increasing the amount of time your baby lies on his or her tummy promotes muscle development in the neck and shoulders; helps prevent tight neck muscles and the development of flat areas on the back of the baby's head; and helps build the muscles baby needs to roll, sit and crawl" "It's important to get our infants out of devices that constrain mobility and onto their tummies so they can focus on neck muscle balance as they interact with their caregivers," “We're going to have to be more actively involved with them” - beyond a 'rotate daily'.

Have a look at the Manly poodle & pram parade, check out the adults' active interaction with their mobile or the dog/s. In the eateries, do the kids stare at the wall, while the grown-ups are interacting with each other and the environment?

Some cafes/eateries in Europe have introduced pram parking at the front door, fold it up and into a slot. The baby/or multiples are then carried or walked to the area where the group wishes to engage with one another.

Experts urge parents/caregivers to facilitate mobility for their infants and not constrain mobility. Craniofacial deformities and a deficient neurological network can be prevented. 'Activities to Help You Position, Carry, Hold and Play with Your Baby' advises on basic interaction.

1. Heinrich Zille, Children practicing handstand via Zeno
2 Edward James Muggeridge, Healthy child crawling via Zeno.
Edward James Muggeridge, Healthy child crawling via Zeno
4 Heinrich Zille, Children practicing handstand via Zeno

-Child Development: Lack Of Time On Tummy Shown To Hinder Achievement, American Physical -Therapy Association (070808)
-Intentional head molding, head flattening or headshaping and other body hacks
- More on the child's development guided by interpersonal communication (language development and though) and culture via Lev Vygotsky

New study possibly links cognitive and motor delays with 'flat head syndrome' in young babies 15022010

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