Michelle Kilheffer, PT, DPT, OCS, Lancaster, PA Center
The school bell tolls once again. To help children maintain their health and achieve academic success in the new school year, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers these tips:
Start the morning with a nutritious breakfast. Studies show that children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom, have better concentration and more energy.
A good guideline is that a backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
- Consider one with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
- Make sure your child uses both shoulder straps instead of slinging the backpack off one shoulder.
- The backpack should sit at the waist instead of hanging lower.
- Help your child pack smart and light. Use the various compartments and pack the heaviest items closest to the center of the back.
- Remove unneeded objects or consider having your child carry extra books or objects in his or her arms.
- Consider using a rolling backpack (if allowed at school) if your child regularly has to carry a heavy load of books.
Help prevent eye, neck and back fatigue while your child is studying or completing homework by encouraging breaks to stretch or walk around.
Encourage your child to get a good night’s sleep. Studies show that getting approximately eight hours of sleep helps your child focus better during the day.
Following these simple back-to-school tips can help you and your child have a fun and successful school year.