For most children, while playing is almost unavoidable to sit in the W-position, which is not recommended at all. Being a parent (especially a new one) means worrying the entire time because things might go wrong at any given time so parenting is definitely a balancing act!
Unfortunately, while raising a child, we can`t always distinguish a harmless behavior from the ones that can be very dangerous and sometimes life treating.
Maybe some things can be swept under the rug, but this one shouldn`t be overlook. It`s called the “W sitting” which at first glance doesn’t look like a big deal, but it could do some serious damage.
As you can see in the picture below a W-sitting is when a child sits on their bottom with knees bent and feet positioned outside their hips. When viewed from above it looks like the letter W, hence the name. But what`s so bad about it you may ask?
First of all there is nothing normal about the W-sitting , it looks like a normal pose but it`s anything but normal. In fact, when a child sits in this position it puts an enormous stress on its hips, knees and ankles that later in life can lead to all sorts of orthopedic issues.
Here are some of the risks that are associated with W-sitting:
1. Hip dislocation.
Like we said, sitting in this position put a lot of strain on the hips and joints, increasing the likelihood of dislocation, especially if the child has hip problems.
2. Limited trunk/core strength.
It`s easy for a child to keep its body upright when sitting in the W position. When children are setting in this position, they are not using their core muscles as much and as a result these muscles will not develop properly.
3. Lack of cross body movements.
The W position doesn’t allow for children to rotate their upper bodies and they can`t properly reach across to either side with both or even with one arm.
4. No hand preferences
A child has too much stability and trunk control when sitting in a W position so it`s very easy to use its hands when doing tasks. Hand preferences are very important when the child starts to develop its writing abilities.
5. Increased muscle tightness
Like we said, sitting in the W position increases the tightness in ankles hips and knees which can be fatal if the child is prone to Hypertonia. Besides these 5 reasons, there are many other good reasons to not let your kid sit this way.
If you want to learn more about the danger of “W sitting” feel free to watch the video below.