Back to School Tips

It’s already Back to School time. Most kids are wondering how the summer went by so fast and many adults are excited about getting back into a routine. There are many things to think about when preparing for back to school, such as: proper backpack use, computer use and studying, and getting enough sleep.

Back pack related injuries send kids to the chiropractor and, sometimes, the emergency room. These injuries are caused from excessive weight, inappropriate fit, and wearing the backpack incorrectly.

Tips to prevent back pain and injury from backpacks are:

  • Weight should be no more than 10% of the child’s weight.
  • It should not hang more than 4 inches below the waistline.
  • Purchase and utilize a backpack with multiple compartments.
  • Bigger is not better. The bigger the backpack the more stuff your child will try to fit in it.
  • Urge your child to wear both straps
  • Wide, padded straps are important so that they do not dig into your child’s shoulders.
  • Be cautious of backpacks with wheels. They can be a tripping hazard and can cause arm and shoulder pain.

Poor posture can be a problem for kids studying and using the computer. Most of the time, the desks that children study at are set up for adults.

Tips for making those areas more kid friendly are:

  • Have the computer monitor or books at the child’s eye level. You can achieve this by having them sit on firm pillows or phone books. Consider purchasing a book hold and or laptop holder that props the book up from laying flat on the table.
  • Use a chair that fits the child correctly by having two inches between the front edge of the seat and the back of the knees, use a rolled up towel to support the low back, and arm supports positioned so the elbows are resting within 70 to 135 degree angle to keyboard.
  • Wrists should be in a neutral position while typing and mouse surface should be close to the keyboard.
  • Feet need to be placed on a foot rest, box, or stool to keep the knees at a 90 to 120 degree angle.
  • Be sure there is adequate lighting to avoid eye strain.
  • Limit the computer usage and be sure the kids take frequent breaks and stretch.
  • Keep your child hydrated with glasses of water.

Now to the most difficult part of Back to School; Bedtimes and making sure that your child is getting enough sleep. It’s best to ease back into a routine, starting the last two weeks of summer vacation.

Set a bedtime for kids and be sure to wake those late sleepers earlier every day. Proper amounts of sleep vary for age.

On average:

  • 4 to 5 year olds should get 10-12 hours of sleep.
  • 6 to 9 year olds should get 10 hours of sleep.
  • 10 to 12 year olds should 9+ hours of sleep.
  • Teens should get 8-9+ hours of sleep.

Hopefully, this information will help as we transition from the carefree days of summer to the days of knowledge and learning at school.

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