As parents, we worry about anything and everything when it comes to our children’s health. Can you blame us? With more and more diseases and obesity rates, we want to protect our children from those scary problems. One area of health that all parents can pay better attention to is their child’s back health. Here are a few tips to help them have strong backs and prevent injuries and back pain problems in the future.
- Start strength training. Everyone benefits from strength training, especially if you live a sedentary lifestyle. Children can also benefit from strength training, but not in a way you may think. Kids don’t need to be lifting heavy weights or use machines, instead they just need to participate in more challenging activities that use their body weight. For example, push-ups and lunges are the perfect exercise for kids. The goal is not build muscle at their young age, but instead to prevent injury and help them with their motor skills. As they grow older, they will hopefully continue to find strength training fun and use it to strengthen their backs.
- Practice Good Posture. Most kids have horrible posture. If you have ever seen how your baby and kids have fallen asleep, you know what we are talking about. Since their little bodies are more flexible and bounce back easier than adults, them falling asleep, hanging upside down from the couch will not cause them permanent damage. However, use this time to help them develop good posture habits. Slouching over will not cause young kids back pain, but if they continue that habit well into their twenties and thirties, you can bet they will be experiencing the pain then.
- Wellness Adjustments. Most parents are leery about taking their kids to the chiropractor. We highly recommend it. However, you aren’t taking your child to the chiropractor for back pain, but for instead overall wellness. A wellness adjustment will prevent injuries, help your child feel his best, and can even fix symptoms they may have had, such as earaches or trouble sleeping.
- Watch their Weight. No child deserves to go on a diet or to skip out on birthday cake every once in a while. Do know that as a parent, it is your job to help them develop healthy eating habits and exercise habits? Make sure they are active and their diets are 80% whole foods and natural foods. Avoid too much fast food and junk food. They may be a string bean now, but in the future, their metabolism may take a turn and their eating habits will only cause them to gain weight. Weight gain adds pressure on the knees which in turn can lead to lower back and hip pain and problems.
- Watch the Weight They Carry. If you were ever concerned by how heavy your child’s backpack is, you should be. All individuals should only carry 10% of their weight, which means your fifty-pound child should only be carrying a bag that is five pounds, not more. Also, the weight of their backpacks should be evenly disbursed across the shoulders instead of one just one shoulder.
Children may look healthy and invincible to pain now, but a few years down the road, their bad habits can lead to back pain. Help them avoid this pain and other injuries by following the above tips and talking with your child’s doctor for more advice.
Image Credit: Kids (5) by Greg L. photos. Used under Creative Commons license.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.