BACK TO SCOOL

Is Chiropractic Care On Your Back To School List too?

Summer is coming to a close and it’s that special time of year when we all focus on “going back to school”. You have plenty to do: backpacks to buy, new teachers to meet, and classes to sign up for. On your long to-do list, don’t forget to add chiropractic care.
As the relaxing summer comes to an end, the return to school can be a stressful time for your child.
Here are our tips for a healthy start to a new school year.

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BACKPACK

During this new school year it is important to take the time to make sure your child’s back pack correctly fits and is worn properly. Ensuring your child has the correct size backpack and the weight is evenly distributed from right to left can help avoid spinal related pain and injury. It not uncommon to see symptoms like headaches, upper shoulder pain and lower back discomfort result from improper backpack safety.

Firstly, a great rule of thumb to follow is keeping your child’s backpack weight under 10-15% of their body weight. Backpacks that exceed this weight can cause your child to be pulled backwards and compensate by bending at the waist and/or shrugging the shoulders. Secondly, check to make sure the backpack is the proper size for your child’s height. When worn correctly, the bag should start just below the shoulders and end right above the waist. Lastly, the backpack should be worn on both shoulders and fit snuggly so there is minimal movement and impact on the lower back while walking.

Check out this checklist below to ensure your child’s backpack is safe for their growing spines.

STRETCH IT OUT!

Stretching is always important for your spine’s health, but especially so if the summer vacation was a little bit less active than usual. Although kids are generally more flexible than adults, be sure that your child knows some stretches before heading back to school. Before engaging in any strenuous activity, your child should warm up and stretch 10-15 minutes and also include a cool down after a workout. This will help prevent injury to muscles that might not have been used in some time.

Back to school also means a lot of time back in a seat. Some teachers are opposed to children leaving their seat, so some seated stretches are a great tool to teach your child. Teach them about proper posture while seated, which means books/tablets held at eye level, feet flat on the floor, and their back up against the back of their seat. With proper posture, your child will greatly reduce their chance of suffering from back, neck, and shoulder pain.

KIDS NEED SLEEP

With packed school and after-school schedules, sleep can often take the back seat. Sleep is our body’s time to heal and repair from the stresses of daily life. If your child is not getting enough sleep their body and brain function can suffer.

To help ensure your child is getting enough rest, stick to the same bedtime every night so there is less trouble waking up early for school during the week. Also limiting screen-time 2 hours before bed can help your child naturally produce enough of the sleepy time hormone, melatonin, for deeper sleep. Lastly, keeping the home cool helps promotes the body’s preparation for restful sleep.

KEEP YOUR KIDS HYDRATED

Proper hydration is essential, especially for kids. Ensure your kids drink an adequate amount of water to rehydrate every day, whether at school or home.

As a general rule, children should drink the number of 8-ounce cups of water equal to their age.

These amounts do not include other beverages that your child may consume in a day, such as milk and juice.

Getting your child to drink an adequate amount of water every day can be a challenge.

Research shows that adding flavour to water can increase the amount of fluid consumed voluntarily.

Get your kids to drink more water by adding a slice of lemon or lime or frozen fruit cubes into their drink.

TEACH YOUR KIDS THE CORRECT STANDING AND SEATING POSTURE. 

Correct posture and chiropractic health go hand in hand. Back problems are common in adults who neglect the practice of good posture during their younger days.

It is important to teach your kids the proper way to have good posture as early as possible. When sitting at a desk, feet should stay flat on the floor, shoulders back, and the head over the top of the neck and shoulders.

If your kids use a tablet or computer as learning material, remember to place the electronics in a stand that tilts towards them. That way, the head isn’t leaning over the shoulders.

To assist with good spine development, equip your kid’s home study with ergonomic and chairs.