Back to School Safety Tips from the Teton Therapy Team
It’s that time of year—our kids are heading back to school! Time flies, right? The Teton Therapy Team has a few safety tips to help ensure that your child has a safe, injury-free, pain-free school year.
Do you remember going to school and carrying what felt like 100 pounds of books in your backpack? We sure do. Backpacks have the potential to cause a lot of back and neck issues, but this can easily be avoided if they are worn properly. Make sure the backpack has wide straps and padding in the back and shoulder area. Use both backpack straps for even distribution of weight on the shoulders, neck and back. Place heavier items closer to the back (this reduces strain). A backpack should not weigh more than 10-15% of a child’s body weight. So, if your child weighs 60 pounds, their backpack should weigh no more than 6-9 pounds.
While studying, sit in a chair. Even though a couch or a bed might seem like a comfier place to study, sitting on a proper chair makes good posture much easier to achieve. Keep knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Make sure your child takes a break every 30 minutes to stretch and move their body (this is a great tip for anyone working an office job, too!). Also, avoid “text neck” while using a cell phone. “Text neck” is caused by straining your neck to look at your phone or tablet too much, which can cause pain in the neck and shoulder area. We know, we know…it’s hard to pull your kid away from their electronics. But it’s important to make sure they at least have good posture!
Back to school means back to sports, too! Stretch before and after all sports (or any exercise, for that matter), and stay hydrated the entire time. Concussions can occur while playing school sports, and it’s important to pay attention to the risks and symptoms. According to the Center for Disease Control, during 2001-2009, an estimated 2.7 million children aged 19 years and younger were treated annually in emergency departments for sports and recreation-related injuries. That is a LOT of injuries! About 6.5% of these injuries were traumatic brain injuries, including concussions. If a child suffers a head injury, no matter how mild it might seem, seek medical attention. Symptoms of a concussion can include headaches, sluggishness, dizziness, and even loss of consciousness.
Do you have any questions about how to keep your child safe and pain-free during the school year? Teton Therapy is here to help! Call them, or schedule a free consultation—they can look at your child’s backpack or their sporting equipment!