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Article: Children are a pain in the back!

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New survey reveals that 83% of Mums suffer back pain directly related to caring for young children

 

A new survey* conducted by Maclaren Buggys and BackCare, 'The Charity for Healthier Backs', has revealed that 83% of Mums suffering from back pain believe it has been caused or exacerbated by their children. Mums cite pregnancy as well as the day-to-day lifting and carrying of their children as the main reasons but the survey highlighted a significant proportion of these mums (73%) also link back pain to pushing, folding or lifting pushchairs. Sash Newman, Chief Executive for BackCare comments: "A pushchair is one of the most important pieces of baby equipment a parent buys - they will be using it constantly for years, not just months. If you choose one that has the wrong handle height for you, is too heavy, or is difficult to fold and lift then you could be storing up some real problems for the future."

 

In response to the survey, Backcare has joined forces with Maclaren to create a 'Top Ten Tips' providing advice on what to look for when choosing the right pushchair plus general tips on how to care for your back when looking after young children.  

The survey reveals just how often women are using their pushchairs:

- 84% of women are using their pushchairs up to 3 times a day

- 91% are folding or unfolding them up to 3 times a day

- 87% are pushing them between three and ten miles a week.

- 47% are frequently lifting them in and out of the car

 

Adds Sash, "With such high usage all parents should consider the effects of a pushchair on their back and look for features that promote good back health - not just one that looks good or is used by a celebrity and hopefully our 'Top Ten Tips' will help women make the right choice for them." She continues, "When choosing a pushchair women should be looking for good handle height - too short and you'll be bending your back. The frame design should allow you to take a full stride, it should also be light to lift and easy to fold. We have found all these elements in Maclaren Buggys."

 

Jo Ebdon, Marketing Manager at Maclaren comments, "87% of parents push their buggies between 3-10 miles per week. That's a lot of regular use so it's important for parents to be comfortable. All our buggies have ergonomically optimised handles that keep parents' arms in a good pushing position and therefore their head, neck and back in correct alignment. Our unique angled A-frame design also ensures parents can take nice large steps without the risk of kicking the back of the buggy when walking." She continues, "The survey also highlighted the importance of handle height to Mums. Maclaren buggies have a good range of handle heights at 104 - 114 cm (41-45"). Plus our Techno XT and XLR models also have height adjustable handles, for increased flexibility and comfort."

 

Care for women is the cornerstone of Maclaren design. Back in 1965, Owen Maclaren, a former test pilot and aeronautical engineer, saw his daughter struggling with her bulky, cumbersome pram and was inspired to design something more user-friendly. He created a portable, lightweight yet sturdy buggy for her with a unique umbrella-fold mechanism. Thus the first Maclaren buggy was born and went onto revolutionise baby transport and become an iconic design.

 

The company has continued in this innovative vein and today each buggy is ergonomically optimised to promote comfort and good posture. Jo adds "We make our frames from strong, but lightweight aluminium and we have the lightest buggy on the market - the Volo, weighing in at just 4.0kg. In addition all our buggies have a 5-second one-hand fold for ease of use and what's more we're so confident in the design and quality, that every new buggy is covered by our Sovereign Lifetime WarrantyTM.

 

TOP TEN TIPS FOR MUMS ON HOW TO LOOK AFTER THEIR BACKS

1. Look for a buggy with good handle height to keep yours arms in a good pushing position - this will help keep your head, neck and back in the correct alignment.

2. When pushing your buggy you should keep your shoulders down and relaxed and your elbows in.

3. Make sure the buggy you choose has a frame that allows you to swing your legs fully in front when walking.

4. Opt for a lightweight buggy, especially if you are always lifting it in and out of the car.

5. Make sure your buggy is easy to fold/unfold.

6. When lifting your child try not to bend over, instead bend at the knees and squat next to your baby. Hold your baby close to you and straighten up from the knees. 'Bend your knees, not your back' is the key to lifting small children.

7. If you are picking up a toddler, put one foot in front of the other, bend at your knees and encourage them to 'walk' up your front leg.

8. Avoid carrying your child on one hip - instead carry them in front of your body with their legs around your hips.

9. Exercise your back regularly - many exercises and activities can help you keep your back fit and healthy. Yoga, walking and swimming are particularly popular.

10. Use a well-designed backpack, such as the one BackCare has available** that spreads the weight evenly over your shoulders to carry your baby equipment - not a single sling bag.

 

Please note the aforementioned tips do not constitute medical advice and information displayed on maclarenbaby.com should not be used to replace medical advice received from qualified (healthcare) professionals, Maclaren is not in a position to recommend any specific treatment, product or therapy.

*        1206 mothers completed the survey across the UK
**      BackCare has designed a range of backpacks to help you protect your back and make a difference to your posture and performance. More information on this unique back pack can be found at www.backcare.org.uk or by calling 0208 977 5474.

 

Maclaren stockists details call 01327 841 310 or visit www.maclarenbaby.com

For further information on BackCare or to obtain a copy of its information booklet 'Back care, pregnancy and children' visit www.backcare.org.uk or call 0208 977 5474.

 

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