29 January 2024

Back to School, Back to Health: Get Your Kids Ready For the New Year!

Cue the rulers, coloured pencils, and rubbers, the new school year is here and it’s time to shine! With freshly polished shoes and ironed uniforms, there are lots of things that have to be prepared before the big day! However, in the frantic scramble to gather the right textbooks, pencil cases, lunch boxes, drink bottles, library bags, tablets, and art supplies, it’s easy to overlook some crucial things, like your child’s health! Amidst all this chaos, one vital thing often slips through the cracks: establishing simple, healthy habits that your child can start practising daily from the very first day of school!

It’s essential to instil in our growing kids the value of small, healthy habits that they can carry into adulthood. To help with this, the Australian Chiropractors Association has developed a great and simple ‘Back to School Health Checklist.’ This tool can make it fun and easy for your child to keep track of healthy practices as they gear up for the new school year.

It not only gives your child a sense of pride and responsibility but teaches them to keep an eye out for creating healthy habits with screen time and exercise as well as kicking the not-so-healthy habits like heavy backpacks and hunching over in the classroom!

The ‘Back to School Health Checklist’ has six key check-off points. Have a read of them below:

    Kids need to carry their backpacks in a spine-safe way. Children’s spines are still developing, and carrying excessive weight or carrying it unevenly can cause strain on their back and shoulders. Start by packing the heaviest items into the back of the bag. Then carry the backpack with two straps, adjusting it to the correct height and securing the waist strap. Then they’re set to go!
    When sitting in school, it’s important kids maintain good posture throughout the day. Our little learners should sit with their shoulders back and relaxed, with both feet firmly on the floor.
    For growing and developing young minds, kids must eat a balanced and healthy diet, filled with lots of fruit, veggies, and water. Eating healthy nutritious food is essential for growth and to keep the little learners alert in the classroom and active in the playground.
    We all know learning these days means more screen time, so try and reduce your child’s recreational screen time where possible. Instead, encourage them to go outside and get some fresh air! Prolonged screen time often leads to excessive slouching or hunching over devices, resulting in symptoms of ‘tech neck’. Tech neck is where the neck and upper shoulders become strained from constantly looking down at screens.
    Getting enough physical activity is key for a child’s wellbeing, so as a guide, kids should try and get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily. Try walking to school or kicking a ball when they get home!
    Children, like adults, can benefit from chiropractic care. By consulting with an ACA chiropractor, you can help your children maintain a healthy musculoskeletal and nervous system – which is important for their little growing bodies! They can also provide advice and assistance on getting back to school ready, including tips on how to maintain spinal health and overall wellness. To find your local ACA chiropractor visit findachiro.org.au

Grab our FREE ‘Back to School Health Checklist’ today and discover how it can assist your child in forming healthy habits as they return to school! For more information and to download the checklist, visit backtoschool.org.au