Summertime fun is coming to an end, and it's time to begin a new school year. As hectic as going back to school can be for parents, it can also be stressful for your kids. From meeting new teachers to exposure to germs to the physical stresses of carrying heavy books, a new school year means new stresses. Here are our tips for helping your child put their best foot forward this year!
Buy The Right Backpack!
The newest Marvel backpack might be catching your little one's eye, but it's important to choose the best one for their back. Choose a backpack with ergonomic straps that are wide and cushioned. Some backpacks even come with a third strap that fastens across the sternum to help with weight distribution, reducing stress and taking pressure off the shoulders.
You also have to consider how your child is wearing their backpack. It might be "cool" to wear it with just one shoulder strap, but that can cause misalignment in your child's spine leading to back pain. Be sure that the straps fit over your child's shoulders and that it doesn't go past their belt line.
We also suggest you are mindful of what is in their backpack. The backpack's weight should not exceed 10-15% of your child's body weight. You should pack heavier items like books closer to their body and light, odd-shaped items furthest away.
Fight Those Germs!
Returning to school means exposure to new people and also new germs. Regular chiropractic adjustments promote proper immune system function, meaning your child will have the best chance at fighting off colds, viruses, and bacteria. The nervous system is what controls the immune system. When effective communication is taking place, your child's immune system will be better able to fight off germs and help them feel better faster should they get sick.
Know Your Nutrition
We've seen advancements in the nutritional value of school lunches, but you still don't know everything they contain or what exactly your child is eating. Your best bet is to pack your child a healthy lunch.
Avoid processed foods and those packed with preservatives whenever you can. A great lunch will have a water or a low-sugar juice, protein, vegetables, fruits, and maybe even something sweet (just try to keep the sugar content low). Easy proteins are chilled chicken, real turkey breast, or hard boiled eggs. Stay away from processed deli meats that are loaded with nitrites and nitrates.
Sunday Prep Prevents Weekly Stress
To keep your stress levels low, go over a weekly plan on Sunday of everything that will happen over the week, including activities and meal prepping whenever possible.
Know that you need to pack a lunch every day? Try cooking a turkey or chicken in advance so you have the protein readily available. Think you'll be too tired to cook after soccer practice on Wednesday? By making a meal ahead of time and freezing it, all you have to do is pop it in the oven. By planning ahead on Sunday, you can go into your week focused and relaxed while ensuring your family is eating healthier, too!
As a regular chiropractic patient, you probably already know the benefits of proper posture. And no matter how many times you tell your kids, it probably isn't sticking. Keep on keeping on, because proper posture while spending so much time seated at a desk is especially important. Your child should sit with their feet flat on the floor, back up against the back of their chair, and head in line with their spine. You can even teach them a few stretches to do at their desk if their teacher doesn't want students out of their seats. Not only will this help with spinal health, but also with paying attention!
It's also important to ensure your child practices proper head posture when staring at a screen or their work all day. Some students slouch and hunch over their desk, which can lead to issues with their neck, shoulders, and back. Remind your child to be aware of their head posture. Make sure the tablet or textbook is in a stand that tilts toward them so their head doesn't tilt over their shoulders.
These tips and tricks will be sure to get you and your kids off to a great start this school year. For more suggestions on how you can improve your child's spinal health, just ask during your next consultation or call us today!