Preventive measures and treatments for computer related stress injuries help in preventing loss of movement in the joint in future. Sitting at the computer places too much stress on the joints and thus lead to repetitive stress injuries. Parents can help prevent them in kids by following preventive measures. Read on.
Instruct your child to sit straight in the chair. Slouching over the keyboard can place undue stress upon your child's neck, back, or spine and this can lead to a repetitive stress injury. In addition, help your child avoid tensing her shoulders. Legs should be positioned comfortably and feet should be flat on the floor or on a footrest with the legs and hips perpendicular (between 90 and 100 degrees) relative to the spine.
Tell your child to use a light touch on the keyboard. Pounding on the keys is only going to hurt her hand and the keyboard. The keyboard should be placed close to her so that she doesn't have to reach for the keys. Ideally, your child should maintain a 90-degree angle between the wrists and the elbows and the upper part of her arms. Her fingers and wrists should remain level while typing.
It is important that your child take frequent breaks every 15 minutes to half an hour in order to rest her eyes, back, wrists and neck. She can do some stretching exercises, or take a short walk, or get a drink. Tell her to look away from the computer and focus on something far away from time to time to prevent eyestrain.
Set an example by following all the above rules yourself.
Creating an ergonomically correct work environment
Make sure that your child is seated with her feet flat on the floor or on a footrest, with her legs and hips perpendicular to the spine.
The chair she sits on should be adjustable in terms of height, back angle and armrest.
The small of the back should be supported with an adjustable lumbar support.
Your child should sit about 2 feet from the computer screen and the top of the monitor should be in line with the user's forehead.
The keyboard should be 27 to 29 inches above the floor.
Your child's feet should rest comfortably on the floor. However, a raised footrest is useful to make a short child sit correctly.
Treatment of Repetitive Stress Injuries
If your child complains of excessive fatigue or stiffness in the neck or back or any of these other symptoms, you should take her to a pediatrician or family doctor.
The doctor may prescribe cold treatments to reduce swelling and pain and advise rest to reduce irritation and speed up the healing process. Once the swelling and pain has receded, your child's doctor may suggest an exercise regime to relax the muscles and prevent loss of movement in the joint. If the pain is particularly bad, the doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication.
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- The Indiaparenting Team