Back to school 101:
By now you may be back to work and the kids back to school, finally after a crazy 2020, things seem somewhat normal again. Getting back to routine and normality means trying to establish good habits and get things set up how we want them to be, to get the year going on the right foot. Having happy kids makes it that much easier to allow the process to go smoothly. So here are some of the measures we can take to make sure the kids stay that way all year long.
Good School shoes- These are essential. Most kids are super active and they need good cushioning and support to keep their feet happy all day long. School shoes, whether they be runners or a more formal school shoe need to be correctly fitting and comfortable to make sure things like blisters and pain do not set in unnecessarily. It is wise to get their shoes fitted, and if your child complains of any pain that does not settle in a week or two, something is not right. If this is the case and there are no signs of the good old “new shoe blisters” occurring, it may be worthwhile checking their socks (making sure they are long enough or in good condition) as well as their shoe. If the foot pain persists, it is worth while getting the feet assessed to see if your child needs some innersoles or any adjustments made to the shoe, to help reduce the pain or issue that is occurring. Shoes today are so much more advanced with technology and if your child has innersoles/orthotics, take them with you to make sure they fit within the shoe and give the correct support as soon as they walk out the door!
Backpacks- The good old school bag. Most kids like to pick something trendy but here’s a few things to try and keep in mind along the way. Try and buy one with a waist strap. The waist strap when done up, re-distributes the weight of the bag to the pelvic region. The pelvis and hips contain the largest muscles of the body around them, so it makes perfect sense to make these muscles take the bulk of the weight. Secondly, we want the bag to sit in the centre of the back to prevent the hunching over of the upper body. Keep the weight of the bag minimal, with the recommended amount being 10-15% of the child’s body weight at maximum. As kids are still growing, we want to promote the best posture we can and not over-strain those growing muscles and joints. Utilising school lockers for heavy books or laptops where possible, is also a way to keep their bags that little bit lighter.
Last of all, the study space: The space to do homework or study should be set up as close to an office scenario as possible. The earlier we can introduce good ergonomics into a child or teen’s study space, the better off they will be long term, when it comes to posture and the possible development of pain down the track. This is going to be significant for those who may go into office work once they finish their studies/schooling. See the pictures below for some examples of backpack and office/study space ergonomics.
Images sourced: https://www.ewiworks.com/blog/backpack-ergonomics-for-kids-school-is-back/
- Brackley, Heather M. MSc; Stevenson, Joan M. PhDAre Children’s Backpack Weight Limits Enough?, Spine: October 1, 2004 – Volume 29 – Issue 19 – p 2184-2190 doi: 10.1097/01.brs.0000141183.20124.a9