Scoliosis in the young. How to spot it (The ‘Skyline’ test)
Get your son (or daughter), to stand barefoot in front of you with his back to you. Ask him to bend over to touch his toes with knees straight. Don’t worry if he can’t touch them! Not everyone can, especially among males. Get your eyes at the same level as the the highest point of his back. Is it level or does the left or right side of his back look higher (closer to the ceiling), than the other? If ‘yes’, then you’ve found one.
You should check again, but this time watching for any ‘hump’ on one side of the spine all the time he/she is actually going down rather than just at the end of the movement. This is because it might appear more in different areas earlier or later in the bend.
Now you think you’ve found one doesn’t mean it’s time to panic!
Curvature of the spine, or scoliosis, is more common in girls, about 1 in 30 will have one. It often runs in families and is only of concern when it gets beyond a certain angle – somewhere around 30 degrees. If it’s below that your doctor will probably just monitor your child a couple of times a year to make sure it’s not increasing.