Back to School Top Tips

Berwick Family Osteopathy

Back to School Top Tips

With January coming to an end every child and parent knows what that means… It’s almost time to get back to school! It can be an exciting or nervous time when your child is preparing to get back into school or go for the first time, so giving them the best tools to start off the year can give them the confidence to start the year off strong.

Berwick Family Osteopathy

Photo by Kimberly Farmer on Unsplash

Here are some top tips to help your kids start their school year off in a healthy and happy way.  

Walking To School 

Although it’s not possible for every family, every day, walking with your kids to school is a great way to establish healthy habits together as a family. Research has shown that almost 2 in 3 children are driven to school by their parents most days of the week. Walking, riding, or scooting to and from school creates time where you can be physically active with your kids and even incorporate physical activity into your own daily routine. Children are often spending most of their days at school sitting and learning in a classroom, and this is a great way to incorporate the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity per day into children’s lives. On top of that, the other benefits for children include improved concentration, better self-confidence, and stronger muscles and bones.

 

Bedtimes 

Over the summer, children’s bedtimes can get a bit inconsistent due to events, holidays, family gatherings, and even daylight savings. However, getting them back into a sleep routine when getting ready to get back into school will help with their concentration, mood, and memory. Establishing a time that they go to bed every night, even on the weekends, will help your child’s body find a natural rhythm with sleep and help improve the quality of their sleep. Removing stimulants like sugar and caffeine in the last afternoon and technology 1 hour before bed will also help in reducing restlessness and help your child get to sleep faster.

The amount of sleep we need changes with age. Everyone is different, but as a guide, children need the following amounts of sleep every night:

 

Ages 3 to 5: 10 to 13 hours

Ages 6 to 13: 9 to 11 hours

Ages 14 to 17: 8 to 10 hours

 

Lunch Box Nutrition 

The best way to set your child up with enough energy for the day is a good breakfast and a well-packed lunchbox. A study by the University of Adelaide, which tracked more than 430 schoolchildren aged 9 to 10, found that almost half of kids’ daily energy intake was from foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Most children didn’t eat enough veggies, while most girls didn’t consume enough dairy. Ensure your child’s lunch box is loaded with nutritious foods such as wholegrain sandwiches, pasta, crackers, cheese, nuts, seeds, yoghurt, fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, and homemade muffins. This will ensure that your child has enough energy for the day and gets all the vitamins and minerals to help their brains and bodies grow while at school. 

 

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Photo by Caroline Attwood on Unsplash

 

Backpacks 

Going back to school means new stationary, new books, and a new lunch box, however, all of that needs to be carried in a backpack. Deciding on what backpack is the best fit for your child can always be a challenge, especially when kids start getting older and need to carry more and more supplies to school. A backpack that is too heavy or ill-fitting can pull a child backward, making them lean forward at the hips or arch the back. This compensation position can lead to back, shoulder, and neck pain. Kids also wearing their backpack over one shoulder can lead to shoulder, upper, and lower back strains and pains. 

 

Follow these tips to choose the right backpack:

  • Get a lightweight pack: Find one that doesn’t add a lot of weight to your child’s load. For example, leather packs weigh more than canvas backpacks. The total weight of the backpack shouldn’t be more than 10-20% of the child’s body weight. 
  • It should have: 
    • Two wide, padded shoulder straps: Straps that are too narrow can dig into shoulders.
    • A padded back: It not only provides increased comfort but also protects kids from being poked by sharp objects or edges (pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc.) inside the pack.
    • A waist belt: This helps spread the weight more evenly across the body.
    • Multiple compartments: This helps spread the weight of items in the pack evenly.

 

Photo by David Pisnoy on Unsplash

 

If your child is getting aches and pains or if you would like further advice on the musculoskeletal health of your child then feel free to come and see one of our osteopaths in the clinic. 

 

Get in touch with us at Berwick Family Osteopathy on 9702 0094 to find out how we can help.

Or book online at: Book Online | Berwick Family Osteopathy

Blog written by Dr Amelia Sloan – Registered Osteopath.
Berwick Family Osteopathy & Spinal Clinic

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