Back to School with Scoliosis: Tips for a Successful Year
Summer is over, the kids are back in school and the homework load has started to pile up; Even though It’s that time of year again, continue to be mindful of scoliosis. The number of notebooks and textbooks coming home in backpacks each day seems to grow and grow. A child’s backpack should not exceed 10-15% of his or her body weight, according to the American Physical Therapy Association. Often times, however, children are carrying much more than that.
Besides notebooks and textbooks there’s the paper, pencils, markers, and calculators, the list goes on and on. All of these items could result in a heavy backpack, which could lead to possible strain on your child’s spine and scoliosis curve. The extra weight that many children deal with each day can place unnecessary strain on their spines because they are leaning forward to compensate for the heavy load. For any child the extra strain can cause problems down the road, but if the child is dealing with scoliosis, an overly heavy backpack can aggravate the situation exponentially
In order to place less strain on the spine, it is important to distribute the different items in your child’s backpack so that the heavier items are towards the back and any smaller items are placed evenly in the compartments. Children should also be encouraged to use both straps when wearing their backpacks so the weight is evenly distributed across their backs. If possible, rolling backpacks are ideal to relieve any stress on the spine. In children with scoliosis, such suggestions are extremely helpful so as not to aggravate or worsen the child’s scoliosis curve.
Even while in school there are a few steps your child can take throughout the day to avoid aggravating their scoliosis. Encourage your child to sit with both legs on the floor while in school instead of crossing them. This way they will not be leaning to one side or the other and will have their weight evenly distributed. Being mindful of one’s posture can also take stress off of the back and spine.
Make the Time
Being back to school doesn’t just consist of heavy backpacks, it also means less free time for kids. They spend a large portion of their day sitting in classrooms, and then at home they are completing homework and other school projects. Some children also have after school activities that take up a decent amount of their time. However, don’t let being back in school take away the focus from other important aspects of life like your child’s health. It is important for children with scoliosis to find time to work on correcting their scoliosis curve.
Along with making sure your child’s backpack is not adding to the situation, certain exercises are available to aid in the correction of a child’s scoliosis curve. Such exercises can be done two to four times a day depending on how busy the day’s schedule is looking. The time allocated to these exercises can range from a minimum of fifteen minutes to a maximum of an hour. Busy schedules go hand in hand with being back in school, but taking time out to focus on the health and well-being of your child is extremely important.
For more information about taking on the school year with scoliosis, contact us at South Florida Scoliosis Center 305-705-0777, or visit www.southfloridascoliosiscenter.com.
South Florida Scoliosis Center is the only CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment Center in the South Florida area in addition to being one in only 18 worldwide clinics to offer Intensive Care Scoliosis Treatment.
South Florida Scoliosis Center draws patients from the entire state as well as from countries abroad.