The time is come to say goodbye to summer and get back to school. Whether your kids are going off to kindergarten or college, you have to get them prepared with backpacks, books, and supplies. As exciting as this time can be, heavy backpacks paired with bad posture can cause damage to your kid's spine. Here are our tips to keep you and your family healthy.
1. The Right Backpack
A good backpack will have a light, fit tight and will be comfortable to wear. The shoulder straps should be wide and padded, and a waist strap is an added bonus. All straps should be adjusted so that the backpack is snug against your child's back and not leaning away from his or her body. Pack the backpack so the heaviest objects are closest to your child's body. Any odd-shaped or bumpy objects should be on the outside of the backpack, away from the back.
2. Label Things Correctly
This applies to our college kids. If you are helping your kid move into a new apartment or college dorm, there's going to be a lot of hauling and heavy lifting. Be sure to appropriately label boxes according to what is inside. Not only does this make unpacking easier, but you will be sure to lift with proper form on those heavy boxes. Before you lift, make sure you have a good grip, balanced food, and bend from the knees and hips.
3. Create an Ergonomic Workspace
Kids seem to be starting homework earlier and earlier, so be sure to set your kid up for success with a great space for studying. A quiet work space will help them focus, and ergonomic tools will help with proper posture. Provide a book stand to keep books at eye level, which will reduce strain on the shoulders and neck.
4. Stretch It Out!
You know we love stretching, and its benefits apply to your kids, too! Depending on your child's activity level during the summer, school might come as a wake up call with required physical education. Make sure they know plenty of stretches to get warmed up before exercise.
5. Maintain Proper Posture
Maintaining proper posture is hard enough for us to remember as adults. Imagine how much easier it would be for you if you'd learned the importance of proper posture as a kid! Standing or sitting with correct posture can reduce strain on your child's low back, shoulders, and neck. It will also help them to maintain better focus. Teach your child to sit with his or her shoulders back and neck upright. Encourage them not to slump or slouch, and to keep their ears, shoulders, and hips in a straight line. It's important to take stretching breaks in between classes, too!
Lastly, the best way to set your child up for back-to-school success is with regular chiropractic adjustments to ensure the body is functioning optimally. Contact us today for a consultation!