Children change positions a lot while playing. When children play in certain positions they develop the necessary rotation for midline crossing (which is reaching over their body), and develop trunk control.
There are a lot of sitting positions and while some are necessary for developing hand dominance and impeccable motor skills, others are not recommended. One of the positions which is not advisable is the W-position. This position can cause orthopedic problems later in life.
The reason children sit in W-position
All children like to play and that is also true for those children that are motorically challenged. They don’t worry about maintaining balance when they are playing with their new toys. Children that frequently sit in W-position use this position for easier trunk stability and easier manipulation with the toys.
When in this position, the child is positioned in place, or fastened throughout the trunk. That makes it easier for playing with toys in the foreground, but it makes the rotation of the trunk and weight shifts (turning and twisting so that they can reach toys on both sides) impossible. Rotation of the trunk and shifting of the weight allows the children to keep balance while they are running outside or they are playing on playgrounds and they are also important for crossing the midline when they are doing some table activities and writing.
Who is not supposed to sit in W-position?
A lot of children should be prevented from W-sitting .This particular position is contraindicated and can be harmful for a child if:
– In case of orthopedic issues. Sitting in W-position can make children liable to dislocation of the hip and if there is a hip dysplasia history or there have been a concern in the past, children should avoid sitting in this position.
– In case of a muscle tightness, sitting in W-position can worsen it. This position putsthe hamstrings, internal rotators, hip adductorsand heel cords in a really minimized range.
– If there are delays in the development. Provided that a child suffers from heightened muscle tone (spasticity, hypertonia), sitting in W-position will only encourage the patterns that should be avoided. Sitting in other positions will help the progress of more advantageous patterns. Since trunk rotation is not possible when in a W-sitting position, a child will be less prone to get hold of something across the body and would rather reach for objects which are on their left with the left hand and objects which are on the right with their right hand.
Children should sit in a number of positions. You should notice the way they put themselves into it, how they got out and how did they maintain balance. Movements from in and out of the Q-position are achieved through straight-plane movement.
Ways of preventing sitting in W-position?
The easiest and most effective way of preventing W-sitting is to nip it in the bug. You should stop it even before the child learns to sit in this position.
When you are playing with your child, hold his or her feet and knees together when creeping or kneeling on knees and hands. W-position is impossible this way. Your kid will either sit back on the feet or to one side. These patterns require trunk rotation and shifting of the weight so they should fit into the therapy goals of the child.
If your child is not able to sit in any other position but W, consult a therapist