By: Dr. Ryan Lee
It’s that time of year again! With the summer winding down and your kids heading back to school, you’ll want to make sure their spines are healthy and protected. This is especially important if your child plays sports in school or takes part in after-school activities like gymnastics or martial arts. We put together some tips that will help keep your child’s spine safe and healthy through the school year ahead.
Watch For Slouching
One of the most important things you can do for your child’s spine is to watch for slouching. Poor posture can lead to a number of problems down the road, including back pain, neck pain, and headaches. One of your best ways to keep your child straight is through posture training. As soon as they start school, help them learn good posture habits. Remind them to keep their shoulders back, and keep their head in line with their body.
Try To Keep Bags & Backpacks Light
As a parent, you want your child to have a healthy spine. As the school year starts and the homework starts coming home, it’s important to be mindful of the weight of their backpacks. Kids often carry all their books and belongings in one bag and while this may seem harmless, it can lead to chronic spinal misalignment.
When carrying their backpacks, encourage your kids to use both backpack strap. Distributing weight across both shoulders helps to even out the load rather than having the pressure on just one side of the body.
Get a Good Night’s Rest
Most people need around eight hours of sleep per night. It is important to find the right amount of sleep for you and your family members so that everyone can function at their best during the day. Students should get the proper amount of sleep at night to help stay focused, improve concentration, and improve academic performance.
One of the best ways to keep your child’s spine healthy is through proper nutrition. A well-balanced diet is important for overall health, but it’s especially crucial for developing bones and muscles. Make sure your child is getting enough calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Also, encourage them to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables for their antioxidants and fiber. Having a well balanced diet will help their overall health and well-being.
Avoid Excessive Screen Time
The average child spends over seven hours a day looking at screens, whether it’s TV, tablets, phones, or computers. That’s a lot of time spent sitting in one spot! Excessive screen time can lead to poor posture and increase the risk of developing spine problems, sometimes called “tech neck”. Here are some to help keep your child’s spine healthy while using tablets, computers, and phones:
- Keep the phone raised. Move the phone (and other devices) up closer to eye level so the head does not have to be tilted forward.
- Take frequent breaks from the screens. Spend some time away from the phone—or any type of head-forward posture.
- Stand up straight.
- Take time to stretch.
- Exercise regularly to keep your muscles strong.
Schedule Chiropractic Appointment
Chiropractic care isn’t just for adults—your kids can get the same benefits from regular adjustments that you do! For years, chiropractors have advised parents on how to keep their children’s spines healthy, and we’re here to share our most up-to-date advice with you. Whether your child needs an adjustment before school starts or they just need a little extra TLC during this crazy time of year, these tips will help keep them feeling great. Starting the school year off right with a visit to the chiropractor is a great way to ensure your child’s spine is healthy and functioning properly.
Dr. Ryan Lee is the practicing chiropractic physician at Reach Health and Wellness Chiropractic. For his full bio, click here. *This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Ryan Lee and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Dr. Lee does not take responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.