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Healthy Tips

Facts about backpacks

Used correctly, backpacks can be a good way to carry all the books, supplies and personal items needed for a typical school day. Backpacks are designed to distribute the weight of the load among some of the body’s strongest muscles. However, backpacks that are too heavy or carried incorrectly can injure muscles or joints and contribute to back pain and other problems.

The proper backpack is:                                                                                                                                                                                            

  • No wider than the user’s chest
  • Worn no higher than the base of the neck
  • Worn no lower than 2 to 4 inches below the waist
  • Supported by a waist or a chest strap
  • Made of lightweight material

A good backpack has:

  • A padded back
  • Several compartments
  • Side compression straps
  • A waist or chest strap
  • Reflectors
  • Two wide, padded shoulder straps

How to use a backpack

To wear it

  • Facing the backpack, bend your knees, hold the backpack with both hands, and straighten your knees to lift it to waist height.
  • Apply one shoulder strap at a time.
  • Be sure to always use both shoulder straps.
  • Snugly adjust it between your neck and the curve of your lower back using the shoulder straps (the closer the backpack is to your body, the less strain it will cause).

To load it

  • Keep it light – pack only what is needed for the day.
  • Place the heaviest objects so they will be closest to your back.
  • Use compartments to distribute the weight and keep things from sliding.
  • Hand-carry heavy books to avoid excessive weight in the backpack.
  • Clean it out daily.

Backpack weight

If a backpack forces the wearer to lean forward, it’s overloaded and some items should be removed. Carrying an overloaded backpack can cause discomfort and, over time, lead to back injuries and other problems.

If the backpack weighs more than 15 percent of the carrier’s weight, it’s too heavy. To determine the proper maximum weight for a backpack, multiply the user’s body weight by 0.15. If a heavier load is unavoidable, consider using a backpack with wheels.

Carrying too much weight or wearing a backpack the wrong way can lead to:

  • Muscle fatigue
  • Poor posture
  • Painful shoulders
  • Back and neck pain
  • Injuries from tripping and falling

Do you have a headache?

Before you take a pill for headache, try the following:

  • Eat something (eat regular meals)
  • Drink water (dehydration may cause headaches)
  • Get a good night’s sleep (get regular sleep)
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol and other drugs
  • Reduce stress

Here are some non-drug treatments for headaches:

  • Proper nutrition; eat regular meals, but if you missed a meal, eat a nutritious snack such as a piece of fruit, low fat cheese, or crackers.
  • Good hydration
  • Relaxation exercises, such as deep breathing; deep slow breaths, hold your breath for several seconds, then exhale slowly and completely.
  • Stretching exercises; turn your head to one side, as if looking over your shoulder. Place your finger on the opposite chin and gently push your head, place the other hand on the other side and on top of your head and gently help your head rotate. hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • Ice pack on your forehead, temples or the nape of your neck for 10 minutes.
  • Warm pack for 10 minutes. Same as above, or if you are home, take a nice warm shower.
  • Rest in a dark room for 10 minutes.
  • Take time out from stressful situations, try thinking about relaxing things such as lying on the beach and enjoying the warm sun.
  • Acupressure; apply gentle, steady, rotating pressure to pressure points on your skull or hand. Pressure points are located on your forehead, along the base of your skull and between your index finger and thumb.

If you have tried all of the above, and you still have a headache, it may be necessary to take an over the counter pill such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Make sure to follow package directions. If you have headaches more than once a week, or if your headaches really interfere with your daily life, make an appointment with your pediatrician to find out what is causing your headaches.

Also, see your doctor if your headache occurred after a head injury, if you have seizures or convulsions, the pain is extreme, wake you up at night, have visual problems, fever or vomiting with your headache.

 

 

Get some sleep

If you wish you could get more done in a day, you might start by focusing on how you spend your nights. Research shows that people who regularly sleep less than 7 hours a night perform as poorly as those who have not slept for one to three days.  Lack of sleep also leads to higher mortality rates and increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.  So, as you are making your to-do list, don’t forget to include plenty of sleep.  Source: Newsweek.com

Encourage your child to be active!

 

Physical activity is important to keep children healthy. Children should be getting at least 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity a day. Encourage them to turn off the TV, video games, and computer and get active!

 

  • Give them the opportunity to try new sports and activities
  • Walk: the dog, to and from school, laps at the mall, or a family walk to the park
  • Provide a dog walking service for friends and family that can’t walk their pets
  • Suggest that your child try something new like martial arts or dance
  • Go to your neighborhood pool for open swim, lessons, swim team, aqua aerobics
  • The opportunities are endless. Get moving and have fun!!!

When they were little, you locked cabinets, covered outlets and taught them to use seat belts. They need a helping hand now more than ever.

For more information explore these links:

www.preventionlane.org/teen-proof

 www.preventionlane.org/contact

 

Head Lice Information

Steps for Safe Use of treatment – Follow these steps to use any head lice treatment safely and appropriately.

  • After rinsing the product from the hair and scalp, use a fine-toothed comb or special “nit comb” to remove dead lice and nits.
  • Apply the product only to the scalp and the hair attached to the scalp-not to other body hair.
  • Before treating young children, talk with the child’s doctor or your pharmacist for recommended treatments based on a child’s age and weight.
  • Use medication exactly as directed on the label and never more often than directed unless advised by your health care professional.
  • Use treatments on children only under the direct supervision of an adult.
  • Teach your children to avoid head-to-head contact during play and other activities at home, school, and elsewhere (sports activities, playgrounds, slumber parties, and camps).
  • Teach your child to not share clothing and supplies, such as hats, carves, helmets, sports uniforms, towels, combs, brushes, bandanas, hair ties and headphones.
  • Disinfest combs and brushes used by a person with head lice by soaking them in hot water (at least 130°F) for 5-10 minutes.
  • Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with a person with head lice.
  • Clean items that have been in contact with the head of a person with lice in the 48 hours before treatment. Machine wash and dry clothing, bed linens, and other items using hot water (130°F) and a high heat drying cycle. Clothing and items that are not washable can be dry-cleaned or sealed in a plastic bag and stored for two weeks.
  • Vacuum the floor and furniture, particularly where the person with lice sat or lay. Head lice survive less than one or two days if they fall off the scalp and cannot feed.
  • Do not use insecticide sprays or fogs; they are not necessary to control head lice and can be toxic if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
  • After finishing treatment with lice medication, check everyone in your family for lice after one week. If live lice are found, contact your health care professional.

Check list for cleaning:

Wash bath towels, coats, washable rugs, hats, scarves, sheets, blankets and pillow cases

Sanitize brushes, combs, nit combs, barrettes and other hair holders

Vacuum car seats, chairs, couches, pillows from couch or bed, bed mattresses

Remember to comb and pick nits twice a day for two weeks, even if you don’t see nits!!

 

Good Health Habits

 

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

If possible, stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will prevent others from catching your illness.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, use the bend of your elbow if no tissue is available. This may prevent those around you from getting sick.

Clean your hands!

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.

Why Breakfast??

Smart Reasons to eat breakfast…..

  • Fuels the body with nutrients
  • Provides energy for the morning
  • Gets you ready to learn
  • Helps keep a healthy body weight
  • Helps kids feel good
  • Tastes good!

Ideas for a quick breakfast at home….

  • Ready to eat cereal with milk and fruit
  • Whole wheat toast with cream cheese
  • Bagel with cheese
  • Reheated rice, hard-cooked egg
  • Oatmeal with applesauce
  • Pita bread and yogurt
  • Toasted waffle with sliced fruit
  • Rice and beans with fruit

Remember: Breakfast is free in the school Cafeteria!!!

 

halloween

Halloween is coming soon and to ensure your kids safety this holiday, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has put together these tips:

All Dressed Up:

Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Make sure that shoes fit well and that costumes are short enough to prevent tripping, entanglement, or contact with flame.

Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.

Carving a Niche:

Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers. Then parents can do the cutting.

Home Safe Home:

To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes, and lawn decorations.

Restrain pets so they do not inadvertently jump on or bite a trick-or-treater.

On the Trick-or-Treat Trail:

A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.

Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.

These are just a few of the tips that AAP offers. Please visit http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/octhalloween.htm for the entire list.