A sure sign of an ineffective pencil grip is the easily identifiable red or white fingertips and joints, that are visible when a child is writing.
This is caused when a child does not have a comfortable grasp on their pencil, forcing a child to develop an altered or modified grasp, often overcompensating in an attempt to gain stability over their pencil.
Now, this may not look like it's causing problems for a child when writing, but let's explore this a little further.
HOW DOES AN INEFFECTIVE PENCIL GRIP PLACE EXCESSIVE PRESSURE ON A CHILD'S JOINTS?
When a child is not able to hold their pencil comfortably, they may overcompensate by gripping too tightly, resulting in hyperextension of the delicate joints within the hand.
This adds unnecessary pressure to the fingers and hand muscles, which could be harmful to the development of growing muscles and joints.
If you have a look at the joints within a child's hands in the x-ray below, you'll see the distance between the joints of a 2-4year old developing hand and the fully formed joints of an adult hand.
This is why we want to be very mindful of how a child is holding their pencil to ensure that their delicate joints are supported when writing.
Added pressure, doesn't just affect the hands of a child, it can also result in strain, tiredness and pain in the neck and shoulder muscles.
So next time your child is writing, take a moment to observe their grip.
Do you notice their fingertips, knuckles or joints turning white or red as they hold their pencil?
If so, this may be an indicator that your child is struggling to hold their pencil effectively. You can download a copy of our free '8 Signs of a Poor Pencil Grip' chart, which will allow you to perform a simple self-check on your child's pencil grip from the comfort of your own home.
DOWNLOAD 8 SIGNS OF A POOR PENCIL GRIP HERE
If you have concerns relating to your child's pencil grip, feel free to pop me through a photo or any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org