Did you know that your child’s performance in school is very much dependent on their overall health and well-being? A healthy nervous system can help children focus, increase their immune function, improve their sleep and so much more!
Since back to school time is just around the corner we thought we’d share seven tips that will make this school year your child’s healthiest and happiest!
And who better to provide you with these tips than back expert (and by default, back to school expert) Dr. Nathalie Beauchamp.
Here are 7 Tips That Will Make This Your Child’s Healthiest and Happiest School Year Yet!
1. A Healthy Nervous System Is Essential.
Think of the nervous system as the master controller of your body. If its communication channels become fuzzy distorted or damaged then we would experience all sorts of communication errors. For children, this ineffective communication may play out as poor sleep, developmental delays, digestion issues, asthma, behavioral problems, low energy, inability to concentrate, headaches, and so on. Treating misalignments in the spine ensures that there are no communication problems and allows children to live happy and healthy. A Nervous System assessment or scoliosis assessment can help you determine if chiropractic can help your child achieve both physical and mental health and prepare them for a healthy school year!
2. Does Your Child’s School Back Pack Make the Grade?
Carrying a heavy load that is unevenly or improperly distributed can result in poor posture; and even distort the spinal column, throwing it out of alignment. This can cause muscle strain, headaches, back, neck and arm pain, and even nerve damage.
When backpack shopping be sure to invest in a backpack that is light, has thick adjustable shoulder straps, a padded back and fits properly! You should approach purchasing a backpack like purchasing a helmet. Be sure your child is with you so that he or she can try it on and make sure it fits.
3. Start School On The Right Foot.
Good quality shoes are important. Poor foot function and alignment may be the cause of various pains such as foot pain, hip pain, knee pain and back pain. And while your child may not be experiencing any type of pain currently, wearing unsupportive shoes during gym and recess can contribute to problems in the future. Since certain biomechanical variances can begin during childhood it is important to have your child’s gait assessed. A gait scan assessment will determine whether your child is taking proper strides, or if orthotics could help ensure proper gait mechanics and foot function.
4. Pack Healthy School Snacks.
Recently, I was talking to a parent who is very health conscious: eats right, exercises, meditates…but when it comes to her children she is constantly feeding them processed and packaged foods. Why is it ok for her children to eat junk food, but not her? Though I realize children are generally picky eaters, if junk isn’t made available to them they won’t eat it. Preparing healthy lunches may take a little longer each day, but it’s well worth it. Healthy foods like fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals essential to your child’s growth and development! A healthy snack will provide your child with the energy to focus, and play! When packing your child’s lunch AVOID packing foods high in sugars, as sugar contributes to poor concentration and behavioral issues. Here are some extra tips Snack Ideas
5. Encourage Physical Activity in School and Recreational Groups.
Exercise is important; it provides children with an outlet for all of their energy and creates a chemical response in the brain that makes both children and adults happier! Find out what kind of sports your child is interested in and sign them up for a local team or after school activity. In the Summer, there are plenty of sports’ camps offered around the city that will get your children moving!
Another option is to plan family exercise nights. A family friend has ‘exercise nights’ four times a week. On these nights, the entire family goes for a bike ride, plays soccer in the park, goes for a run or swims! Her kids love it because they get to play, and she loves it because she gets to spend time with her family while getting a work out in!
6. Sleep Tight, Not Just on School Nights!
Kids need sleep. A lot of it. Experts argue that children between the ages of 5-12 require 10-11 hours of sleep each night. While that may seem like a lot, a good night’s sleep is crucial to your child’s overall health and wellbeing. It restores energy to build brain connections, fuels physical growth, strengthens their immune system, and gives you a much-needed break. Good sleep is often associated with a respected sleep schedule. Pick a bedtime for your child that will allow them to get the amount of sleep they need and stick with it. If your children find it difficult to fall asleep instill a “No Technology 1 Hour Before Bed Rule.” The bright lights of a portable gaming console or TV are not conducive to a good night’s sleep. Sleep tight!
7. Don’t Overwhelm Your Kids
With back to school comes a slew of extra curricular activities, sports teams, art lessons, and so on. While your child may want to participate in every activity they can sink their teeth in, it’s your job to be realistic. Don’t overwhelm your kids, or yourself for that matter. Choose one or two activities you and your kids can commit to 100%. Help your children understand balance now so that you all may enjoy the school year.