As children settle back into their school routine, you may have everything prepared — bag, books, lunch, and uniform! But what has this got to do with their health? Believe it or not, precisely what you prepare can make a big difference to your child’s wellbeing! This article discusses a few ways to prepare your children for a happy and healthy year at school.
Tip 1 — Assess Your Child’s School Bag
According to Better Health Victoria, if a child is wearing a school bag weighted more than 10% of their body weight, it may cause them back pain. Further to this, how you carry the backpack makes a considerable difference. Excessively carrying a backpack on one shoulder or keeping the weight to one side can lead to a curved spine in the future. All of this may seem scary, so this article provides recommendations on preventing long-term ailments before they occur! Here’s what you can do as a parent:
- Choose a school bag with adjustable straps that can be fitted correctly.
- Make sure the size of the school bag is appropriate for your child.
- Pack the bag correctly and ensure the weight of its contents stay under 10% of your child’s body weight.
- Pack the heaviest items close to the back — doing the opposite can throw out the centre of gravity!
- Show your child how to pick up the bag correctly — bend both knees and lift the bag with your legs.
- Show your child how to carry the bag correctly — keep both straps on both shoulders.
Tip 2 — Pack a Healthy Lunch Box
According to AIHW, in Australia, 17% of children are overweight and 8% obese. As parents, healthy habits can make a world of difference in a child’s health. Diet is just one factor that can cause health problems and weight fluctuations. Thinking about what you put into your child’s lunch, how do you see it? Are the foods filled with preservatives, high in sugar, or unbalanced in nutritional value? Here are some tips that will help your child make healthy food choices:
- Enable healthy eating habits early — feeding your child healthy food at home regularly will show them that healthy food is good!
- Pack a balanced lunch that is low in sugar and preservatives and high in vitamins and essential nutrients.
- Pack the appropriate proportions of food — not too much or too little!
Tip 3 — Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Wake Up Prepared
In the morning, you may have a lot on — you may have to prepare for work, get the kids ready and ensure everyone makes it on time. Without adequate preparation the night before, this can make your mornings more stressful than they need to be! The Sleep Foundation recommends that children should sleep for a total of 9-11 hours — that might seem like a lot, but it is the perfect amount for growing bodies! So to make sure your children are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning, here are a few nighttime tips that will help:
- Ensure your child goes to bed at a consistent time that enables them to get 9-11 hours of sleep.
- Pack books, lunch boxes, and drink bottles.
- Prepare uniforms and clean clothes.
- Prepare your family on how the morning will go, so you can coordinate everyone as needed.
We hope these three tips will help you and your family have a great school year ahead. If you have any questions, or if your child is suffering from back pain, we here at Northern Myotherapy are here to help. Don’t hesitate to call us on 03 9078 9953 to make an appointment.