Summer is coming to a close and it's that special time of year when we all focus on going back to school. You've got 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. Not only are back-to-school jitters emotionally taxing, but the physical effects of exposure to germs, heavy backpacks, and high-impact sports can harm your child. Here are our tips for a healthy start to a new school year.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BACKPACK
Your child has been begging for the coolest new backpack, but what looks trendy today can lead to back issues later. Look for a backpack with ergonomic straps that are wide and padded. Be sure it is made of durable material, and try to find one with additional padding on the lower back area.
You also need to be mindful of how the backpack is packed, and how your child wears it. Both shoulder straps should be worn, and the backpack should be snug against your child's back. The backpack shouldn't go much lower than your child's backside, and should not reach their legs. When packing the backpack, put the heaviest items (like books) closest to the body, with lighter and oddly-shaped items furthest away. Be sure that the straps are adjusted properly so weight is evenly distributed. Lastly, the weight of the backpack should not exceed 10-15% of your child's body weight.
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.
A healthy nervous system will have your body communicating and operating as it should, including the immune system. Heading back to school means exposure to many bugs and viruses, so it's especially important that your child's immune system is functioning at its best. With regular chiropractic care, your child's nervous system will be operating at 100%, keeping your kid happy and healthy.
Contact us to get your child started with their best foot forward this school year!