National School Backpack Awareness Day

Backpacks are essential back-to- school items for kids.  They come in different colors, sizes and shapes and most importantly they help children to carry their belongings.  Backpacks are preferred by many in comparison to shoulder bags because when worn correctly, they evenly distribute weight across the body.  However, if worn incorrectly they can cause back pain or injuries and eventually lead to poor posture.

To prevent problems associated with improper backpack use, parents should first purchase a backpack that has the following features:

  • Lightweight
  • Wide and padded straps
  • Multiple compartments
  • Padded back
  • Waist belt
  • Correct size (A backpack should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso).

Practicing these safety tips will further reduce the chance of back pain or injuries caused by backpacks:

  • When packing, heavier items should be placed to the back and center of the backpack. Lighter items should be in front. Sharp objects such as scissors or pencils should be kept away from your child’s back.  Utilizing different compartments can help in distributing weight.
  • Do not over pack. Doctors recommend that children should not carry backpacks that weigh more than 10-15% of their body weight.
  • Ensure that children use both straps. Using a single strap can cause muscle strain.
  • Adjust the straps so that the backpack fits closely to your child’s back and sits two inches above the waist. This ensures comfort and proper weight distribution.
  • Encourage children to use their lockers or desks throughout the day to drop off heavy books.

The Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America recommends that parents should always look for warning signs that indicate backpacks may be too heavy. If your child struggles to put on and take off the backpack, they are complaining of numbness or tingling or if there are red strap marks on their shoulders -It may be time for you to lighten their load.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

BACKPACK = BACKPAIN

backpack-safety

With school in full swing, you may have noticed that your children are carrying, in some cases, more than their body weight in books and supplies affiliated with their school work.  Below is a link with some tips on how to save your childs back from their heavy backpack-

http://www.activebeat.com/your-health/children/back-to-school-backpack-safety-tips/

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Backpack Comfort and Safety Tips for Parents

Backpacks are essential back-to-school items for kids. Available in all different colors, sizes and shapes, they are the preferred way for most children to carry their belongings.

Backpacks are preferred by many in comparison to shoulder bags because when worn correctly, they evenly distribute weight across the body.  However, if worn incorrectly they can cause back pain or injuries and eventually lead to poor posture.

To prevent problems associated with improper backpack use, parents should first purchase a backpack that is lightweight and has the following features:

  • Wide and padded straps
  • Multiple compartments
  • Padded back
  • Waist belt

A backpack should also be the correct size for your child, it should never be wider or longer than your child’s torso. Practicing these safety tips will further reduce the chance of back pain or injuries caused by backpacks:

  • When packing, heavier items should be placed to the back and center of the backpack. Lighter items should be in front. Sharp objects such as scissors or pencils should be kept away from your child’s back.  Utilizing different compartments can help in distributing weight.
  • Do not over pack. Doctors recommend that children should not carry backpacks that weigh more than 10-15% of their body weight.
  • Ensure that children use both straps. Using a single strap can cause muscle strain.
  • Adjust the straps so that the backpack fits closely to your child’s back and sits two inches above the waist. This ensures comfort and proper weight distribution.
  • Encourage children to use their lockers or desks throughout the day to drop off heavy books.

The Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America recommends that parents should always look for warning signs that indicate backpacks may be too heavy. If your child struggles to put on and take off the backpack, they are complaining of numbness or tingling or if there are red strap marks on their shoulders -It may be time for you to lighten their load.

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All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Tips for College Health and Safety

Starting freshman year of college is one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life. In addition to an increased study schedule, new environments, routines and friends can be very overwhelming.

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Here are a few tips from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to help keep your kids on the right track their freshman year:

. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle – Follow a healthy eating and exercise plan. Limiting soda and caffeine intake, as well as increasing exercise like walking across campus instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and working out with a friend will help combat the dreaded “Freshman Fifteen.”  Many colleges also offer a wide variety of sports and classes from crewing to modern dance.

. Manage Stress — Getting enough sleep, avoiding drugs and alcohol, making friends and taking personal time are all important ways to avoid stress.  If your child is feeling depressed or experiencing distress, encourage them to seek help from a medical professional. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among persons aged 15 to 24 years. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

. Safety First — Sexually transmitted infections are preventable.  Half of all new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occur among young people under the age of 25. College students who are sexually active should get tested for STDs and HIV to know their status and to protect themselves and their sexual partners.

. Be Aware — One in five women have been sexually assaulted while in college. Students should know their rights, and seek help immediately if they or someone they know is the victim of violence.

. Drink Responsibly – Binge drinking accounts for 90% of the alcohol consumed by youth. Binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks for women or five or more drinks for men over a short period of time. Binge drinking increases the chances for risky sexual behavior, unintended pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, motor vehicle accidents, violence, and alcohol poisoning.

. Just Say No — Substance abuse and smoking are problems among young people. In 2013, around 21% of those aged 18 to 25 years reported use of illicit drugs in the past month. Among cigarette smokers, 99% first tried smoking by the age of 26. Call 1-800-662-HELP to get help for substance abuse problems.

An open line of communication is the best way to keep your child happy, healthy and thriving while in school. Let them know you support them no matter what!

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

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The end of summer is approaching and parents and kids are preparing to go back to school. In addition to new clothes, backpacks and books, all school-age children, from preschoolers to college students, need vaccines.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month and today’s vaccines are among the most successful and cost-effective public health tools for preventing disease and death. In 2014, he United States experienced a record number of measles cases with 668 cases from 27 states reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). This is the greatest number of cases since measles was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. Despite these recent outbreaks,  many parents are still unclear which vaccines their children should receive or if their children should receive any at all?

Keep a record of what vaccines your child has received and when. Check with your physician to make sure your child’s immunization schedule is current.  By vaccinating your child today, you are not only ensuring their protection against a wide variety of illness, but you are also helping to eradicate these diseases for future generations.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.