Between back-to-school shopping and readjusting to the regular school year routine after a carefree summer, this time of year can get somewhat hectic for families. Nonetheless, the sense of a “fresh start” that accompanies a new school year also makes it a great opportunity to refocus your kids on their wellness goals and building healthier habits.

This checklist we’ve put together outlines six things your children should have for a happy, healthy and successful year in the classroom:

1. Comfortable Footwear: Whether they are running around at recess with friends or playing sports in gym class, kids are active and on their feet through much of the day. Having comfortable and supportive footwear is one of the first steps to a healthy school year.

To help check this item off your list we’re offering kids a free pair of brand new shoes for the school year when you get them fitted for a set of custom-fitted orthotics at Align Health Centre before Labour Day.

2. A Safe Backpack: Backpacks that aren’t worn properly or are packed too heavy can cause all kinds of pain and posture issues for kids. A safe backpack will have lots of padding, two wide straps that are always worn on both shoulders, and is a comfortable weight.

3. Healthy Meals: This may be a no-brainer, but children who have eaten a healthy breakfast and lunch have more energy, better concentration in class, and generally perform better academically. Skip the junk food and make sure your kids are getting lots of fruits, vegetables and healthy proteins in their diet.

4. Plenty of Exercise: Exercise is also linked to better performance at school. If you live close enough to school try walking there a few times a week instead of driving. Or consider signing your kids up for an after-school sports program so they get some extra physical activity each week.

5. A Better Sleep Routine: Kids tend to slip into irregular sleeping habits during the summer, when there’s no school to get up for, and the sun sets later in the day. Start having your kids establish a better sleep routine (with set bedtimes and wakeup times) a couple weeks before school starts so that they’ve adjusted back to a normal sleep schedule by the time September 6th rolls around.

6. A Refresher on Mobile Phone Safety: According to a 2015 American study, over 50% of kids aged six-years-old or older now have a mobile phone. It’s a great way to keep in touch anytime, anywhere but there are also hidden health risks.

Teach your kids to stand or sit straight when using their phones and to keep them at eye level so they don’t strain their neck and spine. They should also take regular breaks from using their devices to avoid eye and wrist strain and to relieve pressure on their neck – especially if they’ve been playing games like PokémonGo.

We hope this checklist will be useful and will help make the transition from summer to school just a little bit easier. Of course regular visits to your chiropractor, physiotherapist, RMT and naturopath are all part of a healthy routine as well.

If you have any questions about back-to-school health or if you’d like to book your family for a wellness consultation, give us a call at the clinic: 905-953-1008

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Please note: Requesting an appointment does not guarantee availability at your preferred date and time, a member of the Align team will follow-up with you to confirm your appointment.

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