27 Feb Helping your child with hand control
We often take our hands for granted, even though it’s our hands that allow us to perform most of our daily tasks. They allow us to use and manipulate objects, utensils and tools. It’s not just our hands, but our hand control that provides us with the ability to do these tasks, such as making use of each finger individually in order to perform certain functions.
A lack of strength in the fingers can significantly impact on a child’s ability to make full use of their hands in demonstrating hand control. For example, it can affect their ability to perform the precise movements required for a number of fine motor tasks, such as writing, drawing or cutting. Poor hand control can also impact on a child’s ability to eat, turn the pages of a book, participate in play, use a computer, perform personal care tasks and even open doors.
Signs of problems with hand control include:
* Awkwardness with grasping objects, such as pencils
* Poor control when using pencils
* Difficulty holding and manipulating scissors
* Poor endurance when using pencils or scissors
* Overly messy and/or slow with handwriting
* Difficulty with opening containers or screwing and unscrewing lids
* Struggling with self-care tasks, such as brushing teeth, getting dressed or undressed, doing up or undoing buttons and tying shoelaces
* Tendency to use their whole hand with tasks that generally only require the use of a few fingers
* Difficulty with control when grasping and releasing objects
Activities that can help to improve hand control include:
* Scrunching and tearing paper
* Kneading and playing with dough – rolling with hands or a rolling pin, creating shapes using the hands, hiding objects within the dough, such as a coin
* Squeezing sponges or squeezy toys in the bath
* Picking up objects just using the thumb, index and middle fingers while tucking the other fingers into the palm
* Using tweezers or chopsticks that are joined at the end to pick up small objects
* Threading beads onto a string
* Using scissors to cut out simple shapes
While these activities can prove to be helpful in improving your child’s strength and hand control, it is still important to seek professional treatment to help to ensure that their abilities are optimally improved, to rule out any underlying issues and to prevent your child from falling behind.
Our physiotherapists at Western Paediatric Physiotherapy are specially trained to assess, observe and analyse the functional and developmental abilities of your child, providing them with the most appropriate treatment program to ensure the best outcomes. Please don’t hesitate to contact our caring and friendly team at our Hoppers Crossing clinic. To enquire and book an appointment with one of our dedicated physiotherapists, call us today on (03) 8001 2042!