23 Mar THE IMPORTANCE OF HAND DEVELOPMENT FOR CHILDREN
Have you ever wondered how difficult life would be if you are unable to use your hands properly? We can’t deny that without our hands, life would be so hard as most of our functional daily activities require us to have proficient hand control. We need our hands not only to do important major activities like writing, cooking, typing, and eating, but also other activities that require fine control like tying shoelaces, sewing, buttoning our shirts, and many more. Thus, ensuring a good hand development for our children is not something to look at carelessly.
Hand is composed of many small bones and joints that allow us to bend and manipulate our hand and fingers. Among all the fingers, the thumb is the most important as without it, the act of grasping something will be very difficult. To make a precise movement, a good hand control is a must. As per the photo above, there are many muscles attached to our hand that allow us to finely control our hand when doing a task. Aside from having a fine control over them, these muscles also must be strong enough. Activities like opening a tight lid and holding a heavy object require strong hand muscles.
To an extent, hand control can also affect academic and social performances. Poor handwriting skill, for example, may lead to difficulty answering all written questions within the specific allocated time. The drawing and colouring skills may not be satisfying when making an art, or they may spill the water out of the water bottle when trying to drink in the class because of poor grip strength. In turn they may experience anxiety for appearing clumsy and for not being able to keep up with their friends.
However, developing control and strength do not happen overnight. It starts from birth when the baby slowly develops the hands by playing. The attention should not only be on the hand, but also on the whole upper limb. This is because the shoulder, arm, and forearm need to be stabilised and held in position for the hand to execute the task properly. Thus, these joints need to be developed too.
Parents are advised to monitor the gross and fine motor developmental milestones to ensure their children grow according to the developmental stages. Consult with the professionals if you think there is a development delay to treat it as soon as possible.