This is our second week exploring the physical issues that can occur when looking after grandchildren.
Arguably, the most physically challenging grandchild will be the toddler: the hefty 15kg two-year-old who wants to be picked up continually or wants you to be on the floor with them.
Let’s deal with getting on and off the floor. The issues arise when you are faced with not only getting on the floor but then needing to get up again. Make sure you have prepared for this task – have a chair close by to use as leverage when getting up. It’s a great idea to practice with someone else in attendance before you find yourself face to face with a small person on the floor and no idea how on earth you are going to get up again.
Through repeated bending from picking up all 15 kilograms of your grandchild, another issue can arise: the back!
Here are a few tips that may help:
1. It is important to squat and bend from the hips, instead of bending forward at the lumbar spine, in order to protect your back;
2. Reduce the number of times you bend forward each day –ask the toddler to climb onto a small stool first – then pick them up – bending at the knees and hips;
3. Protect your back each time you go to lift by bracing your core. This activates the muscles around your back and abdomen that protect and stabilizes it;
Hope this helps. See you next week to find out about how to survive keeping up with your 2-10 year-olds!