When we take care of a child with developmental problems, motor coordination problems or attention problems, it is not all about assessing balance. Yes, it is true that poor neurological construction can lead to neurodevelopmental problems. But at the same time, important aspects of everyday life can make a difference. These main aspects are, on the one hand, sleep, screens and physical exercise; and on the other hand food, emotional aspect and education at home.
All these aspects determine the neurodevelopment of a child and some of them have a high degree of evidence. In this post I will refer to the first three.
A child physiotherapist can quickly assess balance, oculomotor skills or cervical rotation. All this is essential. But it is easier to forget about collecting information about sleep or screen times per day.
It can be a tendency to quickly improve motor coordination or sensory appearance. The truth is that it is of great interest to help the child to a maturation of his nervous system. But the reality is that it will not go very far if the child sleeps little, spends too much time with screens or does little physical exercise.
These three aspects, sleep, screens and exercise are important interference factors. I refer you to the first blog that dealt with the importance of interference factors https://tmpi-pimt.com/estamos-atentos-a-los-factores-de-interferencia/
As seen in all TMPI-PIMT training seminars, interference factors must be regulated before starting treatment protocols. It is the value of family education, the value of each day, the value of what is done at home. This can greatly accelerate a child’s improvement or as it can also slow it down. In the history and in the recommendations in the treatment plan, sleep, screens and exercise must have a relevant place in the guide to the family.
The World Health Organization has published specific lines of recommendation. They are collected in this article by Willumsen & Bull (2020) that you have in the private area.
There are recommended daily times of physical exercise, sleep and screens. In addition, they are collected by age blocks up to 5 years.
Do you know the maximum number of minutes a child should be in front of screens? Never more than 60 minutes and nothing during your first year. Look for the answers to the other two factors.
Informing well to accompany the family well is our responsibility
Willumsen J, Bull F. Development of WHO Guidelines on Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Sleep for Children Less Than 5 Years of Age. J Phys Act Health. 2020 Jan 1;17(1):96-100.