Avoid back injuries by choosing the right backpack
Finding the right backpack is an essential component of back-to-school shopping. Children may have their own ideas of what’s in style, but parents should look for backpacks that are functional before factoring in style. Marrying form and function together can be challenging, but it’s necessary to prevent students from developing back problems. But parents must give consideration to more than just the size of their children’s backpacks. Depending on school schedules, students may be carrying backpacks for up to 1 hours per day, ve days per week. Backpacks may be lled with several pounds of stuff, such as textbooks, binders, laptops, and other supplies, potentially leading to injury.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, at least 14,000 children are treated for backpack-related injuries every year. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says that the weight of a backpack should not exceed 10 to 15 percent of a child’s body weight. But many students pack their bags with much more weight than that. Improperly sized, worn and overstuffed backpacks can injure joints and lead to neck, back and shoulder injuries. They also may affect children’s posture.
Choose a streamlined model
Select a backpack that will get the job done without much added bulk. Many backpacks have been designed to hold technological devices as more and more schools integrate technology into the classroom. A less bulky bag might be lighter and easy to carry.
Consider shopping at a sporting goods store
Employees at camping and sporting goods retailers understand how to t backpacks for hikers and outdoor adventurers. They can help measure a student and nd a pack that will t his or her body frame. Also, these retailers may have a wider selection of backpacks than some other stores, increasing the chances of nding the right t.
Select a pack with a waist strap
According to the American Chiropractic Association, the body is not designed to carry items hanging from shoulders. By using the waist strap in conjunction with taut shoulder straps, students can distribute the weight in their backpacks over their hip bones instead of the shoulders. The padded and adjustable shoulder straps should be at least two inches wide. All straps should be used each time the pack is worn.
Backpacks should be loaded properly
Heavy items should be near the center bottom to distribute the load, rather than placed on top. Students should only carry what is necessary, visiting lockers or desks as needed to lighten their packs.
Backpack t and functionality is something parents should take seriously when shopping for school supplies.
School entry may require documentation of immunization records. Find out what your child’s school requires and bring any school forms for your healthcare provider to ll out and sign. Be sure to keep your own copy of any records. Failure to keep immunizations upto-date could prevent your child from attending school.
A healthy, well-rounded diet is crucial in the learning process for children. Starting the day off with a wholesome, healthy breakfast can help children stay focused and alert. Breakfast should be rich in protein and ber to help curb hunger pangs and ward them off until lunch. Whole grain toast, eggs, fruit, and yogurt are some great options for a satisfying breakfast.
Cutting back on added sugars will also prove bene cial to a child’s health. Added sugars are syrups and sugars that are added during the processing or preparation of foods or beverages. This doesn’t include natural occurring sugars like the ones found in fruits and milk. In 2005-2008, the average percent of total daily calories from added sugars was 16 percent for boys (with average intake of 362 calories), and 16 percent for girls (with average intake of 282 calories) aged 2 to 19 years.
Too many added sugars can lead to serious health problems including weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. The American Heart Association suggests that children and teens ages 2-18 should limit added sugar to no more than 6 teaspoons per day.
Added sugar has no nutritional bene ts, yet it is found in many foods including ketchup, salad dressings, some cereals, smoothies, and even some sweetened yogurts. Instead of packing a sugary fruit drink in your child’s lunch, opt for a healthier option such as water and a whole fruit.
Soda and iced tea are also drinks you should avoid packing in their lunch due to the high sugar content. When packing snacks, try to include fresh fruits, yogurt (with no added sweeteners), carrots, or nuts.
Getting the right amount and good quality of sleep is just as important to a child’s success at school as their diet. Healthy sleep requires a suf cient amount of uninterrupted good quality sleep. Even the smallest amount of sleep deprivation can cause fatigue in children, so it is important to maintain healthy sleep in order to ensure the child stays engaged with activities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pre-school aged children (3-5 years) need 10-13 hours of sleep per 24 hours (including naps); school age children (6-12 years) need 9-12 hours of sleep per 24 hours; and teens (13-18 years) need 8-10 hours of sleep per 24 hours.
The back-to-school routine can already be hectic with all the lists of school items to purchase and extracurricular activities to join, causing the importance of health to take a backseat. By following a few practical guidelines, this school year can be a more smooth and healthy one.