A Chinese dance move is leaving children permanently paralysed

motherandbabymatters.com1 month ago594 min

Baby lost back

These are some killer dance moves, quite literally. In a recent study by the Chinese Orthopaedic Association, it was revealed that the percentage of spinal cord injuries caused by the backbend exploded from just 4 per cent between 1992 and 2002 to a whopping 33.9 per cent between 2015 and 2019.

The backbend, which is a crucial move in the Chinese folk dance, is the main cause of these injuries in children as young as five and above. Dong Daier, an instructor at Beijing Dance Academy took to Tiktok to warn parents and instructors, “It is not recommended that dance instructors apply external pressure to a child’s lower back, especially for children between the ages of 4 and 6.”

PICS/ISTOCK
PICS/ISTOCK

The teachers must be aware that it is a risky move. Doctors have advised that while children’s spines are very flexible, the same cannot be said for their spinal cords. “For instance, a newborn’s spine can be stretched and lengthened by up to two inches without rupturing. However, the spinal cord can only withstand about a quarter inch,” says Dr. Guo Xiaodong, director of Orthopedics at Wuhan Union Hospital

He adds that children who suffer spinal cord injuries while practicing the backbend have a four-hour “golden window” to seek medical help but often don’t realise the extent of their injury because the initial symptoms are only mild pain and discomfort.

1,000
the amount of children who got paralysed doing the backbend in dance classes since 2005

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