When it comes to safe, trustworthy, and dependable caregivers for children, you can’t get better than Grandma and Grandpa! This common held belief among parents may ring true now more than ever. After all, not only is it summertime, we’re also in the middle of an unprecedented pandemic. For the first time in decades, many school children will not be physically going “back-to-school” as they normally would this year.
Whether you’re a grandparent who simply enjoys caring for your grandchildren occasionally or you now find yourself helping out more than you normally would, it is of utmost importance that you ensure that you care for your grandkids without deteriorating your own physical health and well-being.
Here are a few tips…
Stay Active… The old saying “use it or lose it” applies here! Even when the grandkids are not around, be sure to stay physically active. Being fit will enable you to handle the “wear and tear” that caring for your grandkids will put on your body.
Be Rested… Picking up your grandkids for a few days when you’re already “running on empty” is a recipe for disaster. If you’ll be doing special grocery or gift shopping prior to your grandkids arrival, be sure to do it far in advance. It is best to give yourself at least a few days to unwind and relax before the adventure begins with your grandchildren!
Be Prepared… Folding up complex strollers and putting babies in baby carriers can be confusing and a lot of hard work. Be sure to have a game plan before you find yourself “in the moment” without knowing what to do. Stress is bad for your spine health, and if you were to opt to carry a baby rather than use a supportive baby carrier just because you can’t figure out how it works, that could truly wreck havoc on your spine! Can’t remember the instructions your children gave you? Try and look it up online. Many companies offer very helpful video tutorials for how to use their products! Listen To Your Body… Throwing a baseball with your grandson is a lot of fun. However, if your body is telling you that it’s time to stop, by all means, listen to your body. Repetitive actions, such as throwing a baseball all afternoon, could lead to trouble. Afraid of disappointing your grandchild? Have a game plan! An hour of physical activity mixes well with a game of cards or a great movie!
Maintain Good Body Mechanics… Do not be tempted to pick-up older and heavier children. The risk to your spine health is simply not worth it. For babies and toddlers, always remember to maintain good body mechanics while picking them up. For example, you will want to bend at your knees, never at your hips. Widening your legs to get a broader support base is also helpful. After you have picked up the child, be sure to hold them close to your body, as doing so well put less stress on your spine. Lastly, be mindful of your posture by keeping your shoulders back and avoid slouching!
Stay Hydrated… For your body health and your spine health, it is always important to stay hydrated. This is true year round, but especially during the warmer months when you are active. Being dehydrated can make you more susceptible to neck and back injuries, so do drink enough water throughout the day – even while at play with the grandkids!
By following these tips, we hope that you’ll be able to care for your grandkids while maintaining your spine health! If you are dealing with ongoing spine-related pain, our Spine Specialists can help. Please simply contact us for a consultation! Stridewell Tipsread article