It is that time of year again. The sites are common, excited kids running into school to see their friends; others walking so slow you think summer holidays will be here again before they make the door. There are parents celebrating, while others are sad and proud to see their first or last child off to school.
This time of year often bring the preschool shopping, new clothes, new shoes, new school bags. So today I thought I would share some tips on what makes a good backpack and how they should fit your child (Courtesy of the Australian Chiropractic Association) and what to look for in a good pair of school shoes.
So lets dive in:
If you are worried about your child’s backpack weight, here are a few lifestyle and backpack modifications tips:
What to look for in a backpack
- Make sure the backpack is the right size for your child, no wider than their chest and no lower than the hollow of their back.
- A moulded frame on the back, that when adjusted fits their spine.
- A bag made from a lightweight material like canvas, with two padded straps.
- Adjustable waist and sternum straps.
- Separate compartments that allow for easy packing and weight distribution.
How to carry the backpack in a ‘spine-safe’ way
- Ensure that the weight of the backpack is no more than 10% of your child’s weight when packed. Only pack essentials to lessen the load, perhaps use school lockers if available.
- Pack the heaviest items closest to the spine and make sure all zippers are done up all the way.
- Secure the sternum and waist straps (they’re there for a reason).
- Always wear both straps, tell the kids it’s not cool to ‘one-strap it’ anymore.
- Reduce the time spent wearing the backpack to no more than 30 minutes at any one time.
I think that that should cover backpacks for you in detail.
The ideal shoe
First I would like to thank the Australian Podiatry Association for the majority of the following information.
There is no such thing as the one perfect shoe. Feet come in many shapes and sizes, and are involved in many different activities. When buying new shoes, it’s important to ensure:
- They fit properly.
- They are supportive for the kinds of activities you engage in.
- They do not cause damage to you feet or hurt in any way.
When buying new shoes, keep in mind the following:
What is it made out of:
Leather is generally preferred for shoe uppers, it holds up to the assault children put their shoes thru better. Synthetic or rubber are best for the sole as they are often more durable, shock absorbent and provide better grip.
How does it fasten:
All shoes, especially walking shoes, should be secured on the feet with laces, straps or buckles. If your feet have to work to keep your shoes in place, this can exhaust the foot muscles and lead to injury of the foot or spine.
Pointy shoes are hard on your toes (over time can cause deformity). This may affect overall body posture and your spinal health. Clenched toes can also
cause rubbing, leading to corns and calluses. Broad-toed shoes allow the toes more room and can help prevent pressure injuries.
Also check the following:
- The heel height of the shoes is less than 2.5cm (high heels increase pressure on the ball of the foot) and bring the nerves closer to firing, and can increase the sensation of pain in the body.
- Your shoes have well-padded sole. A cushioned sole absorbs shock and reduces pressure on the feet.
- Your shoes are made from a material that breathes – fungal infections like tinea love a warm, moist environment. Absorptive socks can also help draw moisture away.
Some more tips:
- Your toes should not touch the end of your shoes or you may damage your nails and toes – you need a gap of about 1cmfrom the end of your largest toe to the shoe.
- Shoes should also be broad enough and deep enough. If you can see the outline of your feet pressing against your shoes, they are probably too narrow.
- Don’t buy shoes that need breaking in. Shoes should be immediately comfortable.
- Shop for shoes later in the day – most feet tend to swell during the day and it is best to fit shoes when your feet are largest.
Note the Australian Podiatry Association endorses Ascent school shoes. These generally are an excellent shoe for your children.
I trust you found this video helpful please like and share it with your friends and family. If you still have questions or maybe your child complains of spine pain or foot pain you may need a consult to find the underlying issues. If that is you or your child please call our office on 08 8584 7011 and book a consult with one of our Chiropractors.
As always the information contained in these videos does not take your personal circumstances into account. The advice given is of a general nature and is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare practitioner.