Pediatric Developmental Curves
Development of Cervical and Lumbar Lordosis in Infants and Toddlers While
Preserving Thoracic Kyphosis May Be a Factor in Prevention of Scoliosis
By Dr. J Hartley
In utero the fetus in a fetal position. The fetal curve is considered the fetal or primary curve. This curve protects the fetus in the event of trauma to the mother during pregnancy. After birth every effort should be made to preserve the fetal curve in the thoracic spine. The infant should not be immediately place on their back in supine position. https://www.amazon.com/Without-Violence-Leboyer-Frederick-Hardcover/dp/B00ZT1NHDC/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=M5WSFPR7V50SQN66XT2V A sling should also be used when carrying the new born to again promote the thoracic kyphosis. https://www.amazon.com/Child-Carrier-Slings/b?ie=UTF8&node=166833011 Not until the baby is able to pull them selves up and stand for a few minutes should the baby be placed in a front or rear pack up right. Parents should only use the sling with the baby in the side lying position. Do not place the baby in a front or rear pack to early. Placing the baby upright before the spine matures may lead to spinal instability and scoliosis. The next stage of development is the cervical and lumbar lordosis known as the secondary curves.
At the age of 3-6 months the infant will lift their head off the ground in the prone position or on their stomach. This is when the normal cervical lordosis or forward neck curve is created. Encourage as much “tummy time” as possible during this time period. Lay on the ground facing the infant and lift your head while facing the infant. Then you both can practice lifting your heads up. This game will promote cervical lordosis in the baby and parent. http://blog.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/pathways/normal-developmental-milestones-for-your-child-part-2-spinal-curvatures/#sthash.1J0k1M0I.dpbs
At age 6-12 months crawling produces the lumbar lordosis or low back forward curve. Place objects out in front of the baby encouraging them to crawl to the object. Also, lying the baby on their back and touching the opposite hand to toe maybe helpful in making this neuro-connection. Connecting the opposite foot and hand is known as cross crawl. Cross crawl is a very important step in brain development. http://icpa4kids.org/Wellness-Articles/baby-crawling-how-important-it-really-is/All-Pages.html
At age 12 months, the baby should be pulling themselves up to stand upright and attempt to walk. Once the baby is able to pull themselves up and not before should walking be encouraged. Missing these developmental steps may cause spinal instability, scoliosis and learning disabilities. Using front backs, back packs, Johnny Jumpers, Walking Saucers etc. may be very detrimental to child development and future health.
In conclusion every effort should be made to enhance the normal cervical lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, and lumbar lordosis. These good side view curves provide strength and stability to prevent scoliosis. Mothers of children with scoliosis and learning disabilities commonly state that “ he went straight from sliding on his butt to running he never crawled.”