What to do When Your Child Can’t Keep Up At Soccer

So many children participate in recreational fall and spring soccer teams.  It’s a fun intro to the game and usually results in the little kids running in large groups up and down the field!  

Soccer can be a fun experience for many children, but it can be frustrating for others.  When children struggle with running as fast as their peers or following the rules of the game, the fun can be lost. This leaves parents wondering whether they should even have signed up their child at all.

Why do some children struggle with soccer?  We can look at several different possible reasons to try to understand.

Can the child run fast enough?  If the child can’t keep up their teammates, soccer can be an exercise in frustration.  Why bother trying when you’re not having success!

Can the child stand on one leg for longer enough to kick the ball?  If the child feels like they’re going to fall over, kicking is no fun anymore!

Can the child listen, look, and move at the same time?  For some children, using more than one sense and moving at the same time is just too much!  (Think rubbing your belly and tapping your head at the same time.)

The younger we can help children find success in a movement activity the better.  Soccer may not be the best fit for your child, but they also may need some extra help to get their bodies ready to successfully participate in soccer or other recreational activities.  

Free stock photo of sky, person, sunglasses, clouds

The goal of any extra help is to get the child out participating with friends and family to do the things they love!  It is also so helpful to do so at a young age, before a child’s confidence is impacted.

Many parents will seek out extra support when their children are around 5 years old, which is perfect.  The same movement skills that need to be developed for soccer and other recreational activities are the ones that will support the child in the classroom too!  So its success all around!

 

 

 

The #1 Secret to Crossing the Midline

Have you heard the term “crossing midline”?  It is one of those phrases thrown around a lot from pediatric physical and occupational therapists.  We will often tell parents that their child needs to practice crossing the midline.

So what is it???

The midline is the center of your body. In this instance, we’re talking about splitting the left and right sides of the body.

When one arm crosses over to the other side, whether to write a sentence or reach for a toy, this is called “crossing the midline.”

When children have difficulty crossing midline, they might pass a pencil between hands instead of writing a full line with one hand.  

The child may have difficulty putting their socks and shoes on.

 

Another child might often sit in a W- position because it takes crossing midline to get in and out of other positions.

If your child has difficulty crossing midline, it is often recommended to practice this skill.  Before you do, check out the video below to learn the #1 Secret to Crossing the Midline!  

If your child does need more practice, there are many fantastic activities, dances and games you can try!

Here are a few awesome resources to check out:

  1. Here’s a fun collection of great videos that promote crossing the midline! 
  2. A nice list of activities that will be easy for a parent to try at home.
  3. Here’s the dance that was the bane of every teacher this past school year (but great for crossing the midine!)- The Floss!

Last, but not least, check out…

The #1 Secret to Crossing the Midline!

 

 

 

Physio Baby Wellness Visits

There are many benefits a parent can gain from spending some time together with a pediatric PT and their baby.  Put down a blanket and relax on the floor with baby, while exploring various topics with an expert.  We know how difficult it can be to get out of the house with a baby, so we also offer home visits!  These visits can cover many topics, such as:

  • Colic, tummy trouble, and constipation  

    • Babies are squished up in utero for all of those months.  Some babies can benefit from snuggling in certain positions to help balance out the body.
    • We empower parents to learn how to do this at home!  We don’t want you to rely on us, but to learn the skills to improve you and your child’s wellness!
  • Baby massage

    • A wonderful tool to build connections and attachment between parent and baby.
    • Massage also helps the body in so many ways, from growth to temperature regulation.
  • Tummy Time   

    • You may have heard “back to sleep and belly to play,” but what if baby cries during tummy time?
    • We have solutions! Learn how to make tummy time natural and comfortable for different ages and stages.
  • Torticollis

Some children have a preference to look in one direction or tilt their head to one side.

Learn how the whole body is connected and affecting how baby holds their head and turns to look around.  Learn how you can improve it with our cuddle-friendly pain-free approach!

  • Head Shape

    • Learn how to help your baby join the round head club!
    • Flat spots have become increasingly common since the Back to Sleep Campaign.  Continue to follow Back to Sleep advice, while being aware of positioning during sleep and awake time.

PTs can help you and your baby stay healthy and active throughout your lives.  Give us a call at 908-543-4390 or message us at info@kidpt.com to schedule a visit.

How to Promote Your Baby’s Development & Save Money at the Same Time

When a new baby comes, the house often becomes overrun with supplies and over the first year things for baby seem to multiply and take over!  All of these things for baby can be expensive.  What if you could save money AND best promote your child’s development?!

Young bbaby-cute-child-lying-40724abies spend their days cycling between eat, sleep and poop. Between bottles or nursing, diaper blow outs and diaper changes and precious nap time, there isn’t a ton of play time. There are small intervals throughout the day that get longer as the baby gets older and begins sleeping less, feeding less often, and becoming more alert and mobile.

During those happy alert times there are many options to entertain baby: bouncers, exercausers, jumpers, swings, etc.

What is the best option for baby’s development? What is the best way for the explore their new exciting world?

My advice is to keep it simple. There is no need to spend so much money on various pieces of baby equipment.

The best place for a baby to explore is on a blanket or a play mat. Provide opportunities to look at different things and touch different textures. Instead of rotating between baby equipment, try rotating toys instead.

Concerned about safety with pets or older siblings? Look into a play yard or an old fashioned play pen (larger than the modern pack n play).

Babies learn how to use their eyes, ears, mouths and hands by actively turning their heads in response to sights and sounds. They learn how to control their bodies to move to something they want with practice and experience.  This needs to happen out of a semi-reclined position, that babies often spend a lot of time in, between car seats, swings and bouncers.

Many people will say that their kids are happier when upright in exercausers or jumperoos. There is no denying that many babies enjoy it and for 15 minutes a day while you take a quick shower or need to get something done in the house, that’s ok. I simply recommend limiting use, not banning these baby devices if it makes a difference for the parent.

Allow your baby to move their bodies in the ways they are ready. They grow so quickly and will be up and running before you know it. Until then, let them explore and learn how to control their bodies against gravity one step at a time. This will maximize your child’s development from sensory processing to gross motor abilities, and in the end could even save you some money!

 

Bad Behavior or a Cracked Windshield?

Last night my daughters were watching their favorite show, Doc McStuffins. If you haven’t seen it, its an adorable show about a little girl who is a doctor for toys. Its filled with funny little diagnoses that go in the Big Book of Boo Boos and fun little songs filled with life lessons on caring for yourself and others. Read more

Between the Milestones of the 1st Year

As a mom of two girls and a PT for kids I often get asked about milestones and whether a parent should be concerned. There are many clues to whether a parent should be concerned that go beyond looking at a chart that tells you when a child typically will develop a skill. Read more

Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit

Most posts on this blog are related to children with special needs. However, I would like to share a great product invented by a fellow pediatric physical therapist called Magic Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit. Above you can watch a demonstration of an adorable little baby trying it on.

I recently bought one for my 4 month old to help with our transition to the crib and out of the swaddle. It is a big puffy suit with open hands and feet. Its heavy and stiff enough to stop those startles that open wake up baby, but flexible enough for baby to suck on his fingers or wiggle around to self soothe. Read more

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Torticollis

What does torticollis look like? A child will tilt their ear towards the shoulder and will turn to the opposite direction. A child with left torticollis will tilt their head to the left and prefer to look to the right. A child with right torticollis will tilt their head to the right and prefer to […]

Flat Feet: To Ignore or Not?

I am asked about flat feet all the time. I’ve even gotten our OTs in the habit of looking at their client’s feet. Over and over again parents take their child to the orthopedic surgeon and ask about orthotics for their child’s flat feet. Each time the physician says no. The orthotic will not change anything. You are wasting your money. Flat feet don’t cause pain. My orthopedic books all say the same thing. Read more

Trunk Strengthening for Kids

Trunk or core strengthening is a need for children of various diagnoses, including coordination disorders, low tone, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome. In fact most child with developmental differences regardless of diagnosis will benefit from strengthening to the trunk muscles. Read more