Smart Back-to-School Health Solutions

Hitting the books shouldn't hurt. Help your favorite student get an A+ in health.

By Laura McClure from Reader's Digest, | August 2007

     

  • 1.

    Stay action-packed.

    The end of summer shouldn’t mean the end of outdoor activities. Sign kids up for a sport or send them out to ride bikes or walk the dog. If you live near school, skip the bus and walk your child to class.

  • 2.

    Log off.

    Hours spent at the computer may lead to eyestrain and an aching neck and back. Make sure kids sit at least two feet from the monitor and take breaks, says Dana Weintraub, MD, of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

  • 3.

    Schedule sleep.

    Avoid lost zzz’s by having your child gradually go to bed and get up earlier during the week or two before classes start. Nixing big meals and caffeine before bedtime may also help.

  • 4.

    Ban heavy bags.

    Backpacks shouldn’t weigh more than 10% to 15% of a child’s weight. Look for pads on the shoulder straps and back, and put the heaviest items closest to the body. For extra support, get a bag with a waist strap or a backpack on wheels.

  • 5.

    Mind the menu.

    For lunches, focus on fruits, veggies, dairy and whole grains. 

See Also: Show Kids the Way to a Healthy Heart

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