From heavy book bags and rigorous sports schedules to typical growing pains – there are many causes of adolescent back pain. Use these 5 tips to help your kids remain pain free.
Manage Backpack Weight
The weight of a backpack should be no more than 15% of your child’s overall body weight. Make sure they wear a strap over each shoulder and that both straps are adjusted so that the pack is worn high up on the back.
Monitor Computer Time
Kids are spending more time in front of computers than in front of the television these days. Make sure that their monitor is adjusted to suit their eye level and if they are using a laptop, encourage them to use it at a desk or table as often as possible to avoid slumping and slouching over the computer.
Develop Healthy Habits
Your children take their cues from you, even regarding your posture. Take note of your own natural stance. Are you slumped? Are your shoulders rounded? Work on adjusting your posture as a family and encourage everyone to help remind each other that an open rib cage and straighter spine help develop good breathing habits and great posture.
Early to Bed
It’s no surprise that sleep is essential to a child’s growth, as sleep cycles trigger growth hormones. Kindergartners require upwards of 12 hours of sleep a night and elementary school children need between 9 1/2 and 11 hours. Stunted sleep cycles can mean stunted growth. Make sure your kiddos get the maximum amount of sleep per night so they can realize their full growth potential.
Healthy bones, joints and tissue are all built from the ground up by the foods we choose to fuel our bodies. The foods your children eat now will determine the health of their bones, teeth and organs. Choosing whole foods whenever possible over processed foods and buying local or even organically-grown ingredients will ensure your foods are packed with nutrients and help give your offspring the best chance at developing a healthy foundation for growth. To learn what produce is best to buy organic and what you can skip, check out this list of the dirty dozen.