Summer is coming to a close, and that means it's time to go back to school. Not only do your kids face the added stress and strains of getting back into a regular routine, but school is also basically a breeding ground for bacteria. Chiropractic care will give your kids a healthy nervous system, which will leave them better prepared for these challenges, while also learning the important healthy habits of protecting their spine. Here are our tips to get your kid off to school with their best foot forward.
Buying The Right Backpack
Your child might be begging for the latest trendy backpack, but is it really the best backpack for them? Take the time to find the right fit for your child. Their new backpack should:
- Be made of vinyl or canvas.
- Be lightweight and fit snugly against the body.
- Have two wide, padded straps for the shoulders (added bonus points for a waist strap!).
Even with all these requirements met, a quality backpack is only as good as it is packed. When packing up your child's school supplies, make sure to:
- Place the heaviest items close to your child's back
- Put odd-shaped or bumpy items (we're looking at you, extra boxes of tissues) as far away from the body as possible
- Keep the backpack's weight at less than 10% of your child's body weight
Picture Perfect Posture
You already know how important proper posture is for your spine's health, but your child might not understand, even if you do tell them all the time. Rest assured, you are right to keep telling them. Teaching them proper posture is a habit that will benefit them for their entire lives, and it's vital that they learn those healthy habits now.
Many children sit slumped over their desks and hunch over their assignments. While that posture can't always be avoided, it's good for your child to understand their neck and back will be healthier if they limit the amount of time they slouch. When they demonstrate poor posture for a long period of time, they put themselves at greater risk for neck and back discomfort or pain, and they are too young to deal with that.
To sit correctly at their desk they should:
- Relax their shoulders.
- Have both feet flat on the floor.
- Sit with their back all the way against the back of the chair.
- Make sure their ears are over their shoulders, chin tucked slightly down.
- Keep any books or screens at eye level.
Just because your child is young doesn't mean he or she can't be negatively impacted by poor posture while sitting at their desk, so it is never too early to teach them this lesson.
During the school year, most kids are kept busy with physical education classes. It's possible they got a little lazy over the summer, so remind them to slowly condition themselves before they jump full force back into the game. Kids have this crazy concept that they have no limitations. Though their bodies may be a bit more flexible than we are as adults, they should still take time to ease back into sports.
Make sure your kids:
- Warm up for at least 10 minutes prior to exercise
- Cool down and stretch after physical activity
- Partake in exercises that are reasonable for their age, skill level, and physical fitness
- Do a variety of activities to prevent repetitive injuries. Kids should try different things as their muscles develop and grow.
In addition to these tips, we are here to help your child reach optimal health. Contact us for a consultation, or if you have any questions.