Back to School
As the school year starts up, children are faced with another year of books, teachers, and homework. Parents, on the other hand, deal with ensuring academic success and social participation for their children in addition to helping with science fairs, book reports, and math problems. It often goes unnoticed, what damage a heavy load (backpack) can cause on the body. Occupational Therapy can help students with and without disabilities to be prepared for and perform important learning and school-related activities.
Liberty Rehabilitation Specialists offers the following tips to help keep kids safe and healthy this school year.
- Sleep: Adjusting to a new sleep schedule typically takes 5-10 days. School age children should aim for 10-11 hours per night; Teens should get 8-9 hours and adults 7-8 hours.
- Nutrition: Meal planning and prepping is key. Protein breakfast, prepare school lunches the night before, and planning a healthy dinner for each night will work wonders.
- Stress Management: Going back to school can be exciting and stressful at the same time. Plan ahead and do a school walkthrough. Talk with your child and give positive assurance about the new year.
- Backpacks: A wide backpack with straps is ideal. Wear both straps. One Strap causes one side of the body to bear the weight of the backpack. Weight should be evenly distributed. Carry no more than 15% of your body weight. Less is better.
- Stretching: A good habit to do every day is to stretch. Stretching is an integral part of preparing your body for action. It increases flexibility and improves the range of motion of your joints.
- Hydration: Drinking fluids is essential to stay alive. Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. Remind your child to choose water or Gatorade over sugary drinks.
A parent’s positive attitude towards school and learning is the best way to encourage a child’s educational journey as well.