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Experts Warn Against Letting Kids Sit In The 'W' Position

Kids are with blessed with being super agile, and often find themselves in positions that stiff-limbed adults couldn't dream of getting into. But it could be that one popular sitting position is actually do them more harm than good: 'W' sitting.

'W sitting' is when a child sits on their bottom with both knees bent and their legs flicked out, creating a the shape of a letter 'W' from above.

For many little ones, it's a comfortable position to sit in while watching TV or doing low-level activities such as drawing, but it could be affecting the development of their legs, hips and ankles, according to a report on Seven News by The Pediatric Therapy Centre, The Sun report.

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Credit: Pexels/Milly Eaton
Credit: Pexels/Milly Eaton

If not stopped before your child hits two years, the position could ultimately affect their core strength and motor skills which could have a bad impact on their ability to do normal kid things, like running and jumping.

It could also leave them pigeon-toed - that's walking with their legs turned in - if not stopped soon enough.

According to pediatric doctor, Dr Sam Hay, the position could not only be bad for the hips, knees and ankles, but in extreme cases it could lead to hip dysplasia, a condition leading to abnormal tissue growth.

He told Kidspot: "It's especially important [to tackle the problem] for the hips, because the extra strain from the W position will put them at extra risk of a serious problem call hip dysplasia. At its worst, hip dysplasia leads to poor walking, running, and severe arthritis into early adult years.

Credit: Pexels/Nelly Aran
Credit: Pexels/Nelly Aran

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"The W position also really effects core stability, upper body mobility and strength, which will further affect coordination, and even the transition to developing a dominant hand and their writing skills," he adds.

Despite the health warning, Dr Hay says parents shouldn't panic if they see their child get in this position occasionally.

"I think the first thing I want to say to parents is: don't panic if your child sits like this occasionally," he explains. "It's OK for kids to move in and out of the W position, finding themselves occasionally there.

"The issue is if it's their preferred sitting position."

So how to stop it? The Child's Play Therapy Centre recommend: "Rather than simply saying, 'Don't sit like that!' it is a good idea for you to suggest other ways for them to sit."

These include long sitting, side sitting, criss-cross sitting or sitting on a small bench.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Life, Children, Life News, Kids, health news

Ciara Sheppard

Ciara is a freelance journalist working for Pretty 52. After graduating from the University of Sussex, Ciara worked as a writer at GLAMOUR Magazine and later as the Assistant Editor of Yahoo Style UK.

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