Guiding Your Kid To Land Safely From Height

Guiding Your Kid To Land Safely From Height

Jumping off heights can be challenging to your child since the skill requires certain coordination of the limbs and body, as well as having control of the flight phase where both feet are not in contact with the ground. It involves three main processes namely: take-off or preparation, the flight and finally the landing. Jumping brings so much joy to your children and as such, it should be made as safe and as easy as possible. As a safety consideration, teach your child to land with their knees slightly bent and to always have shoes on when making the jump.

Developmental Phases for Jumping from Height

  1. Initial

This phase is highly dependent on the arms for balance. It involves a one foot takeoff, with the takeoff foot touching the ground first before the other foot leaves the surface.

  1. Transition

Here, there is an awkward usage of arms for balance and an uneasy bending at the hip and knees when you land. It involves a two-foot takeoff with one foot landing and the other immediately following resulting in a small flight phase.

  1. Mature

This phase involves a two-foot takeoff that gives way to a controlled flight phase with both feet in the air. Both hands are used for balance and upon landing both feet touch the ground simultaneously with the toes touching first.

Effective Teaching Strategies for Jumping from Height

The following teaching strategies can be applied when certain scenarios occur during the jump:

  • The child is unwilling to jump off a height

If your child is unwilling or afraid to jump off a height, you can place them on a lower object like a stable stool and get him to bend his knee. Face him and hold both of his shoulders as you count to three and then carefully lift him up. Reduce physical help slowly starting from the shoulders all the way to the hands and eventually transition to verbal cues.

  • The child is unable to successfully takeoff

If this happens, make a 2cm wide band from a newspaper and wrap your child’s feet near the ankles. Place two footprints on the ground and encourage your child to jump off and land on the two footprints. Here, you can use an incentive like a cookie or a fruit to encourage your child to jump.

  • Your child is not swinging both hands to enable takeoff

To make sure your child swings both hands for takeoff, try holding a target or object in front and above your child’s head. Encourage your child to jump off the surface and reach for the target. For better results, use an object that is dear and known to him or her for example, a favorite toy.

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