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FORT MYERS, Fla. – Most school-age children have been back in the classroom for weeks now.
Here to discuss some back to school health tips is Dr. Annette St. Pierre-Mackoul.
The Best Fit For a Backpack:
- Concerns: discomfort, fatigue, muscle soreness, and muscular pain.
- 28,000 sprains, strains, dislocations and fractures due to backpack injury.
- Make sure that backpacks fit.
- Fit requirements: use both straps, appropriate padding, weight distributed well.
- Backpack should weigh less than 10% child’s body weight.
Packed lunches: A balancing act:
- Hunger leads to poor school performance.
- Healthy students perform better than unhealthy ones.
- Healthy and filling lunches are crucial to learning.
- Be creative and vary the lunch choices.
- Involve your child in making and packing lunches.
Getting a good night’s sleep:
- Sleep recharges the body’s battery.
- Allows energy for schoolwork and protects against stress.
- Need at least 8-9 hours of sleep per night.
- Quality and quantity of sleep are important.
- Regular bedtimes, avoid napping and no electronics before bed.
Screen time and keeping active:
- Electronics before bed affects sleep quality.
- Limit screen time to 2 hours per day.
- Screen time = computers, TVs, and smart-phones (anything with a screen)
- Assure at least 1 hour of exercise outside of school’s PE program.
- TV off at mealtime – encourage conversation.
The importance of having good role models:
- All of the above is important for all ages.
- Children learn more by your actions than your words.
- Children with caring and less controlling parents are happier as adults.