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Should I stop 3.5yo DD attempting handstands?

(16 Posts)
strawberrybubblegum Fri 01-Jul-16 21:27:54

OK, I probably know the answer to this, but I'd like to check with those of you with more knowledge/experience than me about what can cause injury before I try to stop DD.

DD is very physical and active. She's also pretty determined, and when she wants to learn to do something, she just keeps on and on doing it. Her current obsession - after reading Julia Donaldson's mermaid book - is trying to do handstands.

She's got a pretty decent donkey kick now, and gets high enough to be up for a couple of seconds, but she doesn't have the balance to stay up. She mainly just comes back down (occasionally with an arm giving way if she's been doing it a lot) but a few times she's gone right over. That can't be good for her back, right?

The reason I'm particularly worried is that this evening at bedtime, her neck crunched audibly, and she said it hurt shock. The other thing which could have caused an injury is that at soft play yesterday, she did a forward roll off a step into thin air. Deliberately. Before I could stop her. It was onto padded floor, but still looked painful - and she said she'd had enough at that point, so I think it shocked her too (but she was said that nothing hurt, and did continue playing in the playground outside afterwards without any sign of problems)

So, firstly - should I get her neck checked out tomorrow at the gp?

And secondly - should I forbid handstands?

Thanks for any advice. I obviously really don't want her to injure herself, but also know that a certain amount of falling is natural in childhood - and important for learning her own limits.

NotSpartacus Fri 01-Jul-16 21:33:37

Leave the neck a few days before seeing GP.

Tell her to give the gymnastics at home a rest and get her into a gymnastics class so she can learn to do this stuff safely.

Lilliana Fri 01-Jul-16 21:40:41

Firstly teach her to forward roll out of the handstand if she is going to fall over - ideally fall back onto her feet but if she's gone too far tuck her head in chin to chest, roll shoulders and back so she doesn't wind herself/land on her neck.

I would take her to gymnastics lessons to learn how to do it safely and to learn more about something she clearly enjoys.

Not sure about the neck and gp though. Maybe see how she is in the morning.

strawberrybubblegum Fri 01-Jul-16 22:44:27

Thanks for the advice! I'll see how her neck is over the next couple of days. That makes sense that if it's no longer painful in the next few days, then there shouldn't be a problem - just a warning!

Good idea to teach her to tuck her head in and do a forward roll - that would have far less impact on her body than splatting over. I'll try to teach her that (although going over always seems to surprise her!) and if she doesn't pick it up then I'll get her to stop for a while until she can. And I'll certainly get her to stop for a while to make sure all is OK.

She already does a gymnastics class, which she loves! They don't teach handstands though. Not sure whether the coaches would be able to give some advice anyway. They do little obstacle courses: jumping on things, balancing on beams, swinging on ropes and doing forward rolls down slopes. It's fantastic!

bakeoffcake Fri 01-Jul-16 22:48:39

I wouldn't let her go handstands st that age. She could end up seriously hurting herself.

Encourage lots of forward rolls and cartwheels.

snowy508601 Wed 20-Jul-16 00:02:59

The problem is that you are unlikely to be able to stop her!
The trouble with fwd rolls at that age I that their head is still disproportionately big compared to the length of their arms and some 3 yos cannot tuck their heads right in when they roll on level ground
we normally teach little ones to do H/s by walking their feet up the wall (belly facing wall) this strengthens their arms shoulders and core
[[ ]]

snowy508601 Wed 20-Jul-16 00:04:21

...and encourages good shape!

Haggisfish Wed 20-Jul-16 00:12:30

Good thread op -thanks!

smellyboot Fri 22-Jul-16 23:58:08

Get her to try and learn head stands instead...4 year olds can often manage it! And do against a wall to lol

snowy508601 Sat 23-Jul-16 12:53:06

Get her to try and learn head stands instead
Pre-schoolers are not supposed to do headstands! It can cause neck injury as often their necks are not strong enough!

smellyboot Sat 23-Jul-16 23:55:10

Well tell that to the huge regional centre of excellence near us. They teach head stands in the 4+ class and by 4.5 or 5 they mostly do it. My DD certainly could as could all the stronger / lighter DC. Tuck head stands and extend legs. Balance and core strength. They must teach 100+'age 4 and over to do it every week as part of their classes.
I'm not a gymnast or coach but seemed pretty standard here.

strawberrybubblegum Sun 24-Jul-16 07:51:02

It seem a minefield! I loved the video of how to increase strength by walking feet up the wall, snowy. That looks like something she'll definitely go for - and safe!

I stopped handstands for a bit to make sure she'd recovered, but didn't think to ban jumping off high things (the other current obsession) and she has hurt her back doing that. Probably all linked sad Can I ban everything except tv for a bit?!?

strawberrybubblegum Sun 24-Jul-16 07:57:56

What do you mean by 'good shape', snowy? Is part of it encouraging them to keep their bady straight? I'm assuming that like doing press-ups, it's easier if your bottom is sticking out!

cece Sun 24-Jul-16 08:02:25

In Yoga we do dolphin pose to strengthen our arms and shoulders. Not sure if it is suitable for 3 year olds though!


snowy508601 Wed 27-Jul-16 16:07:18

By doing handstands tummy facing the wall , they are less likely to arch their back

MiaowTheCat Wed 17-Aug-16 12:54:04

Sounds like my 3.5 year old!

We've got her into a preschool gymnastics class and a gymnastics dance class so I figure at least if she's going to attempt to kill herself she can learn how to attempt to kill herself in a safer fashion! It's partly worked - although now her hobby is sidling up to the older girls in dancing who are busy doing all kinds of fancy acro tricks - and proudly demonstrating her forward roll to join in with them!

Gymnastics have obviously been doing some arm strength stuff gently swinging off a toddler-height bar... and she's been bloody swinging off everything as a result - made getting round Tesco with her trying to practice this off the side of the trolley an interesting challenge.

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