This year is going by fast and already it’s back-to-school time for many of our Northern Colorado patients. Between heavy back packs, school sports and heavy homework loads, it can all cause poor posture, not to mention back and neck pain. So here re 5 easy tips to help keep your kids healthy when they go back to school.
- Find a good back pack. One of the most important things you can do is to help your child find a lightweight back pack (preferably made of vinyl or canvas) that is comfortable, yet snug. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons recommends that a back pack should not exceed 15 % of your child’s body weight. The back pack should also have two wide and padded shoulder straps for more even distribution. And the bottom of the bag should meet the lower back and come to rest no more than 4-inches below the waist.
- Use Good Posture. In order to help prevent chronic neck and back pain, it’s essential for your son or daughter to use good posture when sitting in class or doing homework. Be sure to have them sit without slumping or leaning too far forward. If they are already in the habit of texting a lot, try to have them put their phones down occasionally and get up to stretch or walk around. A little work in the beginning will mean less pain meds and lower doctor bills later on.
- Practice Ergonomics. When your kids are working on their homework, make sure you set up a healthy, ergonomic work space for them to help prevent repetitive strain injuries down the road. Discourage them from slouching in bed or on the couch while doing homework. Set up a healthy work space for them. Have the monitor sitting roughly at eye level about an arm’s length reach away, ensuring that there is no glare on the screen. Also, have the mouse and keyboard close together. And really important: make sure they take frequent breaks as well.
- Ease Into Sports. If your son or daughter have signed up for a school sports program, remember that their muscles may need some extra warm up time if they have taken a break from intensive physical activity over the summer break. Make sure they spend at least 10 minutes warming up before playing, then another 10 minutes afterwards. Remind them of the importance of keeping hydrated, especially during warmer weather. It’s easy for kids to get dehydrated.
- Go Get a Chiropractic Check Up. Studies show that kids who get regular chiropractic adjustments not only have fewer injuries, but they stay healthier as well. That can mean less time spent in and out of doctors’ offices and more money in your wallet. Call your Fort Collins Chiropractor today at (970) 377-1775 to get a free consultation or to set up a sports exam. Dr. Mike Kleker is a specialist in sports-related injuries and can help keep your child on track to optimal wellness.