The kids are officially back at school, which means your babysitting budget can finally rest easy. But between buying specialty food for lunches and after school activities, the back-to-school season doesn’t just mean early mornings and helping with homework.
Whether your kids are in sports or not, it’s important to talk to your children about back-to-school safety. From your smaller kids with heavy loads on their backs to your new teen drivers to your young athletes, every child is at risk for injury during the school year.
Here are a few back-to-school safety tips you can use to help your kids stay safe and healthy this school year.
Keep your kids’ backpacks light
According to the American Chiropractic Association, a backpack shouldn’t weigh any more than 10% of a child’s weight. A heavy backpack can cause shoulder pain, back pain, and poor posture.
While 81% of U.S. adults say that chiropractic care helps a great deal with neck and back pain, it’s important to remember that kids are still developing. The longer a child wears a heavy backpack, the longer it takes for a curvature or deformity in the spine to correct itself.
Take your kids in for a physical before school starts
Physicals are not only important to make sure your kids are healthy but they’re also a great way to determine if your young athlete is fit to play. A sports physical can address any areas of concern for athletes before they head out on the field or court.
It’s important to catch any injuries or conditions before your child starts playing a sport to prevent your kids from further injuring themselves. Some conditions can be treated with medication (drug discovery alone is a multi-billion dollar industry), but others can be worsened by sports activities.
Physicals can also catch conditions that may make it difficult for your child to learn. For instance, two to three out of every 1,000 kids in the U.S. are born with a detectable level of hearing loss in either one or both of their ears. And up to 25% of children need some type of vision correction.
Keep an eye out for concussions
If your child participates in a high-impact sport such as soccer, lacrosse, football, basketball, or cheerleading, it’s important that you know how to spot a concussion. You don’t need to run into another player to suffer a concussion. In fact, falls are the number one cause of traumatic brain injuries.
If your child is hit in the head or falls, keep an eye out for concussion symptoms such as confusion, glassy eyes, poor balance, slowed speech, changes in behavior, forgetfulness, and feeling sleepy. Take your child to receive medical treatment if they show these symptoms. Americans, including kids, argue almost 19 times a month. When your kids’ arguments turn physical, there’s always a risk of injury.
The back-to-school season is filled with possibilities, but it’s important to make sure your kids are keeping themselves and others safe from potential injury. Whether it’s playing at the park near your home or in a school sport, safe play it key. By following the tips above, you can rest assured that your kids know what to do to stay happy and healthy all school-year long.