Navigation Links
Lack of time on tummy shown to hinder achievement

ALEXANDRIA, VA, August 6, 2008---The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is urging parents and caregivers to ensure that babies get enough "tummy time" throughout the day while they are awake and supervised, in light of a recent survey of therapists who say they've noticed an increase in motor delays in infants who spend too much time on their backs while awake.

In the national survey of 400 pediatric physical and occupational therapists, conducted on behalf of Pathways Awareness, a non-profit group dedicated to early detection of motor delays in children, two-thirds of those surveyed say they've seen an increase in early motor delays in infants over the past six years. The survey was conducted with the assistance of APTA's Section on Pediatrics and the Neuro-Development Treatment Association (NDTA).

Those physical therapists who saw an increase in motor delays said that the lack of "tummy time," or the amount of time infants spend lying on their stomachs while awake, is the number one contributor to the escalation in cases.

APTA spokesperson Judy Towne Jennings, PT, MA, a physical therapist and researcher from Fairfield, Ohio, said, "We have seen first-hand what the lack of tummy time can mean for a baby: developmental, cognitive, and organizational skills delays, eye-tracking problems, and behavioral issues, to name just some complications." She added, "New parents are told of the importance of babies sleeping on their backs to avoid SIDS, but they are not always informed about the importance of tummy time."

Jennings explains that because new parents now use car seats that also serve as infant carriers many of which fasten directly into strollers and swings without having to remove the baby from the seat -- this generation of babies spends prolonged periods of time in one position. She recommends that awake babies be placed in a variety of positions, including on their tummies, as soon as they return home from the hospital. "Ideally, babies should be placed on their tummies after every nap, diaper change and feeding, starting with 1-2 minutes," she said. Jennings is co-author of the research, "Conveying the Message about Optimal Infant Positions," Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, Volume 25, Number 3, 2005.

In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics launched its successful "Back to Sleep" campaign, which helped reduce the number of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) cases by educating parents on the importance of putting infants to sleep on their backs, rather than on their stomachs. While putting infants to sleep on their backs is still vitally important in reducing infant deaths, according to APTA, many physical therapists believe that there should be more education to parents on the importance of "tummy time" while babies are awake and supervised.

APTA spokesperson Colleen Coulter-O'Berry, PT, MS, PCS, a physical therapist at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, said flattening of the baby's skull is another side effect of too much time spent on the back. "Since the early 1990s, we have seen a significant decrease in SIDS cases, while simultaneously witnessing an alarming increase in skull deformation," she said. Coulter-O'Berry cites a recent study published in Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 45(2): 208-16, in which it was reported that several risk factors for misshapen heads were more common among babies born after the "Back to Sleep" initiative. The study, which took place at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, found that prior to 1992, the prevalence of misshapen heads among infants was reportedly 5 percent. In recent years, craniofacial centers and primary care providers reported a dramatic increase of up to 600 percent in referrals for misshapen heads.

She also points out that the combination of babies sleeping on their backs, as well as spending an inordinate amount of time in infant carriers that double as car seats, puts pressure on the head which can create a flattening of the skull. In extreme cases, babies are fitted with a custom-molded band that gently guides the baby's head into a more normal shape.

According to Coulter-O'Berry, parents can increase tummy time by incorporating exercises into routine activities such as carrying, diapering, feeding, and playing with baby. "Increasing the amount of time your baby lies on his or her tummy promotes muscle development in the neck and shoulders; helps prevent tight neck muscles and the development of flat areas on the back of the baby's head; and helps build the muscles baby needs to roll, sit and crawl," she said. Coulter-O'Berry is co-author of Tummy Time Tools, an informative brochure that provides caregivers ideas and activities to ensure that babies get enough tummy time throughout the day. The brochure is now offered on the APTA Web site,

Karen Karmel-Ross, PT, PCS, LMT, pediatric clinical specialist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio and national lecturer on muscular torticollis (neck muscle imbalance), says that one way to engage in tummy time is to spend time during each diaper change encouraging the infant to find, focus and follow the caregiver's face or a toy with their eyes looking up, down, left and right. "It's important to get our infants out of devices that constrain mobility and onto their tummies so they can focus on neck muscle balance as they interact with their caregivers," she said.


Contact: Stephanie Block
American Physical Therapy Association

Related medicine news :

1. Survey Reveals Most Americans Planning Vacations Within the U.S.; Tummy Troubles Top Travel Health Woes
2. Lack of Time on Tummy Shown to Hinder Achievement of Developmental Milestones, Say Physical Therapists
3. Vision restoration therapy shown to improve brain activity in brain injured patients
4. Red wine compound shown to prevent prostate cancer
5. Drug Detection Kits Manufactured By IDenta Corp. Shown During French Television Broadcast (at TF1) - Product Aids French Police In Bust of 600 Kilograms Of Cocaine
6. Breaking Study: Masimo Pleth Variability Index (PVI) Shown Effective in Noninvasive Detection of Changes in Ventricular Preload and Fluid Volume
7. Video game shown to cut cortisol
8. Wild Blueberries Shown to Fight Oxidative Stress
9. Once-Daily Exjade(R) Shown to Remove Toxic Iron From the Heart and Liver, According to Data Presented at ASH
10. MammaPrint(R) Breast Cancer Test Shown To Be Powerful Tool for Prognosis Prediction in Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Patients
11. Proteomic profiling shown more accurate than traditional biomarkers in identifying liver cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... the United States, today announced the release of its limited edition holiday seasonal ... Cocktail Agua Fresca. All feature the unique flavor combinations and delicious taste Califia ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ProText Kinetic Panel ... . With ProText Kinetic Panel, users can create energetic text animations in any layout ... into the Final Cut Pro X timeline and stylize the text. With intuitive on-screen ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 , ... In an age ... costs were 36 percent lower per square foot than in 2009. The Williamsport Regional ... of heating and cooling has decreased by eight percent. , According to Facilities ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... The app helps individuals find others to train with, participate in local fitness ... App Store and Google Play. , “As high medical costs drive us to get ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... Altec Products, Inc., the ... of Synergy 2015. The annual WennSoft KEY2ACT user conference will take place from ... unite customers, partners, WennSoft team members and sponsors to facilitate the sharing of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... , Oct. 13, 2015 WuXi PharmaTech ... and technology platform company serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, ... has launched a mobile version of OncoWuXi, the ... to access oncology models and data on the ... and at any time to identify relevant tumor ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... 13, 2015 Health Gorilla ( ) today ... – a secure platform for clinical data and communications ... about and manage healthcare in the US. The launch follows ... a combined total of $4.4M raised to date, with ... True Ventures , Harris Barton , Orfin Ventures ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... DUBLIN , Oct. 8, 2015 Research ... of the "World Anti-counterfeit Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics Packaging ... report to their offering. --> ... packaging market to grow at a CAGR of 15.7% ... The hologram authentication technology segment accounted for about ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: