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August 26, 2020

Back to School Health Tips

back to school boy in backpack

Back to school time is upon us. Even though this year looks very different for many students and parents, there are still things you can do to ensure a healthy start with either in person or online learning.

Fall in Michigan can be a high time for allergies and stress with the shift from summer vacation to the schedule of the school year.

If you or you family suffer from seasonal allergies, check out Natural Ways to Combat Seasonal Allergies.

Wear Your Back Pack Properly

We see kids who wear backpacks that are way too heavy for them when they are full of books. As chiropractors this makes us cringe. We know what this is doing to growing spines. Young children aren’t very strong and don’t have a lot of muscle mass. A good rule of thumb is to keep their backpack weight under 15% of their total body weight.

Always use both straps of a backpack. Wearing a bag just over one shoulder is hard on the body and can cause misalignment in your spine and back pain. Moms, the same goes for your heavy purse. Dads, a fat wallet in a back pocket will cause you back pain after awhile. Switch to the front pocket.

back to school boy in backpack

Regular Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractic adjustments are a great way to keep the body in top fighting form to ward off illnesses. Bodies that are healthy, aligned properly, and getting the proper nutrition will stay healthier and recover quicker.

Wash Your Hands and Use Safe Sanitizers

We’ve heard a lot about hand sanitizers and cleaners because of Covid-19. It is a good idea to use them, especially if your children are going back to school in person. However, overexposure to toxic and harsh chemicals can cause other problems you don’t want. Some hand sanitizers can:

  • cause skin irritations and rashes
  • increase your risk of eczema
  • cause fertility issues
  • cause resistance to antibiotics
  • affect your immune system
  • impact body development
  • lead to alcohol poisoning (in extreme use cases)

Your best options are to use actual soap and wash your hands frequently and for at least 30 seconds each time.

For a list of hand sanitizer brands the FDA does NOT recommend click here.

Our favorite hand sanitize and cleaning products are made with an essential oil blend called Thieves by Young Living or OnGuard by doTERRA.

Eat Healthy

Your diet has a lot to do with how well you are able to fight off germs and viruses. If your kids are going to school in person, be sure the school offers healthy lunch options or pack a nutritious meal for them. As kids get older and have more access to making their own choices when it comes to eating their nutrition can decline. Many high school students can leave campus for lunch and hit various fast food chains and pizza joints.

If your children are learning from home stock up on healthy lunch options and snacks.

For some great ideas check out Our Top Healthy Kids Lunch Ideas for School from EatingWell.com

You can also google “Healthy Lunch ideas” and “Healthy snacks for kids” and get lots of great ideas.

back to school snack, bananas and grapes

Ergonomic Workstations and Tablet Use

If your family is doing online learning at home it will really help with concentration and overall health to set up a comfortable workstation for each student. This should include a comfortable height and angle for computer use. If more than one person is using the same computer, you will have to adjust for each user. Kids who sit with their neck tilted back (looking up at a compute screen) or bent over while using at a tablet can possibly develop headaches, backaches, shoulder pain and misalignment of the spine. It might not happen in the first week of school, but over time it will start to be very uncomfortable and cause unnecessary pain.

Don’t forget to remind yourself and them to sit up straight.

Breaks and Exercise

One of the drawbacks of online learning is the loss of scheduled breaks, outdoor recess, and gym class. Be sure you and your children are taking regular breaks and getting some exercise throughout the day.

Hydration

Along with eating healthy, be sure the whole family is drinking enough water. It is easy to get caught up in school work and not realize you are thirsty. Encourage each child to keep a water bottle with them at school or at their home work station. Add fruit like watermelon or vegetables like cucumber to your water to get a fresh, fun flavor that will encourage your kids to drink more.

Good luck to all the parents, students, and teachers who are figuring out this new way to learn.

To find more about Dr. Ryan and Dr. Allyson and their chiropractic practice and philosophy, click here.

To make an appointment please call (517) 781-4884