As the Twig is Bent So Grows the Tree
As we approach the coming school year, we head off to the stores and malls to buy school supplies. Of course, most kids have outgrown most of the clothes they finished the last school year in just a couple of months ago. And then, there’s the usual array of binders, pencils, paper and of course the trusty backpack.
If your kids are anything like mine, it almost seems like they need a pack mule to carry all their new supplies to school. And, it seems like the book bags and backpacks get bigger every year. At the same time we’ve tried to get a backpack that’s big enough to carry everything, we could be setting our kids up for future posture problems and potentially scoliosis and other health problems.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine seem to grow like weeds. The minute you turn your back, they seem to grow an inch before you can turn back around. While it’s not quite that dramatic, they really do grow rapidly. Then, somewhere around middle school most kids have what’s called a growth spurt where they actually grow even faster. Girls usually have their growth spurt earlier than boys. Hmmm. Maybe there’s a link between ear Toms Outlet Online lier growth spurts and a higher incidence of scoliosis in girls than in boys.
Here’s the problem. At a time when kids (especially girls) are growing rapidly, they’re also saddled with as much as 20 30 pounds of books, papers, etc. in their book bags. And as we all know, most of tho Toms Outlet Online se bags are typically carried over one shoulder or the other. It’s like strapping a bowling ball to the top of a little pine sapling. Surely, it will bend under the weight. Your kid’s spine works the same way. Now, imagine that little pine tre Toms Outlet Online e growing in that bent over position. As it grows, it will grow in that same position. So, too, will your child grow to develop posture problems by carrying a heavy load of books on a regular basis while their bones are still softer and growing.
How can you tell if your kid is developing posture problems? Actually, there are a couple of ways. First, simply look at them from the back and then from the side. As you observe them from the back, see if their head tilts from one side to the other or if one shoulder is higher than the other. The slightest difference can indicate a problem that could get even worse over time if not corrected. Have them bend over at the knees. If you can see that one side of their back is higher than the other, there may be what’s called a functional scoliosis. Finally, have them turn so their side is facing you. As you look at them you should be able to almost draw a straight line from their ear, through their shoulder, hip, knee and ankle. If you can’t see that straight line, there’s a potential problem that should be addressed before it gets worse.
So, just what kind of problems might posture problems in kids lead to? First, bad posture can lead to structural problems that can lead to chronic pain and soreness in the neck, middle and lower back. Second, it will lead to uneven stresses on the spine and potential degenerative back problems as they get older. Finally, stress on the spine can also cause stress on the spinal cord and central nervous system. When that happens, there’s always the potential for a variety of chronic health problems.
So, what can be done to prevent and correct these potentially harmful effects on your kids as a result of heavy backpacks and book bags? Obviously, I think every child should be checked for postural problems at an early age. Many times these problems can be prevented with attention, exercise and good habits. Family ch Toms Outlet Online iropractors that see kids can recognize the problem and, in many cases, slow down or reverse the problem if dealt with early. While the kids might not like it, buy a book bag with rollers and an extendable handle or one that will distribute the weight load evenly. And finally, pressure should be put on school systems to reduce both the size and quantity of books a child should be required to carry home from school. These days, most families have a computer at home. School systems should make books available on DC (compact disk) to lighten the physical load of carrying books.
Your kids’ posture and health are worth the extra attention. Don’t let them grow into health problems that could have been prevented with a little attention.