It’s back to school time and every parent wants their kids to thrive when it comes to handling the physical, emotional and intellectual stresses of the season. Address these key areas and watch your child flourish this school year!
Backpacks should be less than 15% of your child’s weight, meaning a 65 lb child should carry less than 10 lbs of weight on their back. Many children carry too much weight for their growing bodies, placing undue stress on their neck, shoulders and spine, impacting brain functions and learning. Consider purchasing backpacks and other carriers that have wheels to do the job. These are becoming more and more popular and will save your child from pain, stiffness, focus, attention, and learning challenges.
Neurologist and Nobel Prize recipient, Dr. Roger Sparry said, “the spine is the motor that drives the brain” as 90% of all stimulation and nutrition to the brain comes from movement in the spine. He also said healthy brain function produces healthy posture. Improving your child’s posture in turn improves their learning potential.
For every inch the head leans forward, there is an extra 10 lbs of downward pressure on the spine, which reduces activation of the frontal lobes of the brain necessary for learning. Chronic, low levels of spinal stress may also cause headaches, blurred vision, neck and shoulder tension, back pain, poor balance, muscle weakness, fatigue, poor digestion, allergies, bedwetting, poor attention and learning challenges, just to name a few. Regular chiropractic spinal adjustments can alleviate nerve stress and restore healthy movement of the spinal joints thereby improving stimulation and nutrition to the brain, which improves posture and learning.
There are 52 bones, 66 joints, 214 ligaments and 38 tendons and muscles in our feet. Statistics show that 80% of the population requires arch supports to improve function and stability in their feet. Computerized Gait Scan Technology can measure how your feet function and can keep track of changes over time so you know if and when you may require orthotics. Be sure to buy properly sized shoes with good arch supports and consider booking our free computer gait scan evaluations for the whole family as part of your back to school priorities.
Other Healthy Tips
Lunches and snacks should include proteins, veggies and healthy fats with limited carbohydrates and sugars as these may affect focus and energy. Fish and poultry choices are healthier over red meats and pork. Consider packing an empty water bottle to fill at school. Screen time and cell phone activity causes physiological stress responses in children that may in turn affect learning, cardiovascular health, weight, digestion and hormones. Consider limiting screen time to less than 30 minutes a day. Promote at least one hour of physical activity per day but beware of over booking your child in too many extracurricular activities. Children need real down time to play by themselves or to read (not spent with TV or video games). Your child needs a minimum of 8 to 10 hours of uninterrupted, deep sleep, which may be encouraged with consistent wake up and bedtime routines.
Your nervous system is the master system of the body, responsible for all body functions and your family’s learning potential. Take advantage of our free back to school family health screenings, including posture and computer gait examinations and start the school year hitting the ground running!