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Posted on 08-31-2015

Another wonderful summer is gone but not forgotten!

Most of those with families are getting ready for or are already Back to School. This is the time of last minute school supply buying and rushing after that last family vacation. During this time we are fielding a lot of questions about kid’s health and safety. I thought I would discuss a couple we get asked the most.

Are you children dreading heading back into the classroom? It is normal for children to be sad the summer is over and wishing they had more time. The new routine of schedules and school can create some fatigue as they adapt to the changes. We normally see a rise in anxiety over the new responsibilities placed upon them causing out of the ordinary behavior. Having some extra patience for you kids goes a long way in their ability to overcome these stressful times.

Do you your kids play sports? Most districts require all students in the seventh grade and above to have a physical exam to be cleared to play sports. We would be happy to help you out with last minute school physicals.   

“Backpack, Backpack…” this Dora song is affectionately etched into my memory after watching with my niece and nephew. Backpacks are the leading cause of back and shoulder pain for millions of children and adolescence. We have all seen the kids at the bus top carrying a backpack full of books essentially larger than they are. Backpack Safety is going to take a fair bit to go over. The following is the recommendations of Touch of Life Chiropractic and the American Chiropractic Association.

Choosing the right back pack

  • Appropriate size: The backpack should not be longer or wider than the child’s torso and hang no more than 4 inches below the waist line.
  • Straps: Yes, there needs to be two and be adjustable! Ideally the shoulder straps should be wide and padded. One strap bags do not equally distribute the load.
  • Padded Back: Padded backs are more comfortable and provide protection from sharp items as pencils and pens.
  • Weight: The pack should be lightweight. If you can’t fit all your children’s item in a lightweight pack consider getting a rolling backpack. Remember they still have to get it up and down stairs.
  • Compartments: Does it have enough pockets and compartments for all the needed items.

Use the backpack correctly – stay with me

  • Don’t overload! This is most common cause of back injury to children. A child should not be carrying more than 10 % of their body weight. Meaning if they weigh 100 lbs. then max backpack weight is 10 lbs. or if they weigh 50 lbs. no more than 5 lbs.
  • Use both straps: Another big one. Using one strap offsets the load and can cause neck and back muscle spasms.
  • Adjusted properly: The load or backpack should be centered in the middle of the child’s back.

If your child reports severe or persistent back or neck pain please call Touch of Life or another health care professional to schedule a check-up.

Enjoy the school year and happy studies!

Dr Todd Stranahan DC  

Touch of Life Chiropractic

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