By: Dr. Cynthia Mangla, DC, CCSP
It’s that time of year again! As we wind down from our summer vacations and begin back to school planning for the kids, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Choosing the Right Backpack
As kids enter school for the first time or move up a grade level you may notice their backpacks get heavier! This weight can be a challenge for kids. Heavy backpacks lead to compression of the spine, strain to muscles and poor posture. Many kids also place emphasis on style and fashion trends when choosing a backpack which can lead to choosing a less supportive bag such as messenger style bags, totes, and less structured fabrics. While some of these styles may seem more appealing, they can also lead to improper distribution of weight causing kids to become more prone to injury.
Things to look for:
A full backpack should not exceed more than 10% of the child’s body weight and should never exceed more than 25lbs
Backpacks should have two straps, one for each shoulder to create an even load
Choose a backpack with both a chest strap and waist strap that clasp in the front
Choose a bag made of structured material with compartments to properly distribute the weight
Straps should be adjusted to keep the backpack close to the body
Ergonomics of Studying
While you may not be able to help your child’s ergonomic set-up in the classroom, you can create a good study environment at home. Some kids opt to study on the couch or on the floor, which leads to poor posture and increased strain on the body. To help avoid this, encourage your kids to sit at a desk while studying. Choose a desk that is the right height for your child and an adjustable chair that will prevent or limit the amount of time your child is slouching/looking down will help maintain proper posture.
Encourage regular study breaks. Research shows that regular study breaks lead to increased productivity, better attention span, and decreases the overall stress placed on the body. Get your kids moving during breaks to get their blood flowing and keep up with some light stretches for their neck and back can help to prevent injuries.
Healthy Snacks and Drinks:
Spend a few minutes at the beginning of the week to pre-plan healthy lunches and snacks for your kids throughout the week. Healthy fruits and veggies are always a good go to. Adding some avocado or sunflower butter is a great way to give them a healthy fat. Minimizing processed foods and staying organic when possible is a great way to optimize your child’s health. Lastly, remember to keep your kids hydrated! Children might opt for sodas and fruit juices over just plain water. Not only does this provide them with high amounts of sugar, it prevents them from properly hydrating. Providing them with a fun water bottle or choosing natural ways to flavor water at home is a great way to keep your kids hydrated!
Washington Park Chiropractic is the only practice in Denver, Colorado specializing in Sports Chiropractic, Prenatal Chiropractic and Pediatric Chiropractic. Our Wash Park Doctors are expert certified and trained in Sports, Pediatrics and Prenatal Care including massage, acupuncture, Webster Technique, Graston Technique, Laser, K-Laser, Kinesiology Tape, RockTape and Normatec.