With an array of products even the tiniest among us are enjoying the great outdoors. But while these products can make life easier and more enjoyable for both parent and child, they can be the source of pain and injury if not used properly.
Use a trailer that hitches to the back of the bike. It is much safer than a carrier on the bike, according to the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Occupational Health. Keep the following tips in mind:
- Look for a harness that can be placed over the child’s body.
- Protect your child’s head with a sturdy helmet sized to fit properly.
A baby jogger is your best option. This is a rolling pushcart with handlebars for manoeuvring.
- Make sure the handlebars are large, adjustable, and upright as possible.
- Handbreaks are a must.
The jogger should come with a shoulder harness/restraint for the child.
Walking or Hiking
For parents who prefer walking or hiking with their little ones, a backpack-style or front-side carrier could be for you. There are some risks however:
- The cervical spine of a child less than 1 year old is not fully developed. It is important at this age that the head does not bob around. The backpack carrier does not permit the parent to actively monitor this.
- Make sure to select a carrier with wide straps for your shoulders and waist to help distribute the weight evenly.
- Never run or jog with baby in a carrier. Their bodies can not handle the repetitive jarring.
Baby slings are becoming more popular for their comfort and versatility. But keep in mind the following:
- They are only for the very young.
- A baby can become very hot inside one.
- Make sure breathing is unobstructed.
If you or your child experience discomfort from these or other outdoor activities, call your doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractors are trained to care for patients of all ages.