Healthy Kids and Healthy Spines

In Virginia Beach, there are a wide-range of scenarios our young families are facing as we embark on a new school year.  Regardless of the scenario your family faces, we want to educate you about ways you can support your child’s health through the spine.  It truly is the backbone of the body- providing structural support and housing the nervous system.  Keeping a healthy spine supports a healthy body, something we’re all striving for more than ever before!

Minimize screen time!

Although a funny term, did you know “text neck” is a real thing?!  Check out this graphic and see how even the slightest flexion of the neck can challenge the body.  Whether working on a Chromebook or looking at a phone, prolonged cervical flexion is not healthy for the spine.  Encourage taking breaks from the screen as frequently as possible (every 20 minutes for our young children).  The break should include getting out of the chair, stretching arms overhead and looking up at the sky, and taking 3-5 deep breaths.  Walking around for 5 minutes helps increase blood flow and wake the body up for more learning.

Move… in the morning AND the afternoon!

Did you know moving is a key component of learning??  Research has found that exercise improves both behavior and academic performance.  And this doesn’t just apply to children!

We appreciate and understand the challenges parents face trying to balance working from home and helping kids in the virtual classroom.  Incorporating physical activity for at least 30 minutes in the morning AND the afternoon can lead to a much happier household.  No need to be a full blown drill sergeant, simply allow for running, jumping, and being loud!  Kids needs to let that pent up energy out… or it shows up as poor attention spans or bad behavior.

Stretch as a family!

Do you ever feel general body aches and soreness after a long day of… sitting??  Children experience the same thing, sometimes on an even greater scale!  Sitting promotes the body to develop poor postural habits that result in tight muscles.  For children, add the growing factor on top of a sedentary day and you’re setting the stage for a long night of aches and pains.  As the bones grow longer, the muscles can’t keep up.  The muscles then pull on the bones creating those horrible “growing pains.”

Stretching is the answer!  Developing a healthy stretching routine at an early age can lead to healthier long-term lifestyle habits.  Join the kids and make stretching a fun, family event.  You need it too!

 

Drink water!

Do you know if your child is drinking enough water?  Below is a quick breakdown of how much water children should consume according to WebMD:

  • 2-4 years old: 2-4 cups (16- 32 oz)
  • 4-8 years old: 5-6 cups (32- 40 oz)
  • 9-13 years old: 7-8 cups (56-64 oz)
  • 14 and up: 8-11 cups (64- 88 oz)

Most adults walk around with some level of dehydration.  Low level dehydration can result in many ill-effects,

including muscle and joint pain (including the spine), increased blood pressure, increased risk for injury, increased risk of urinary-tract infections, and more!  While wearing face coverings, the need for proper hydration increases even more due to increased body temperature.  Water breaks are a great way to change up the day and keep the family well-hydrated!

Chiropractic care for kids… safe and effective!

At no stage in life is the body enduring more change than during growth and adolescence!   Physical and developmental changes are at their peak from birth through puberty.  The body is constantly replicating cells to grow and adapt preparing for adulthood.  You may notice that your child is very clumsy for a period of time- you know, that awkward puppy stage!  This is because the nervous system is trying to keep up with the changes within the body.  Since the spine houses the nervous system, why wouldn’t you want to ensure it’s functioning at its best!?

Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to establish proper movement patterns and prevent structural imbalances at an early stage of life.  And it’s never too early!

Why is keeping a healthy spine so important?

As mentioned above, the spine has the very important job of being the literal back bone of the body!  Maintaining proper spinal alignment and strong postural muscles is essential for function.  The mechanics of the spine has a direct impact on how the body moves… and how the nerves communicate with the rest of the body.  Chiropractic is the best way to ensure everything is moving and communicating well.  Call to schedule your child’s first visit today!