Start Off Strong This School Year

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Advice from BreakThrough Physios on keeping kids injury-free as they head back in to the classroom, join sports teams and try out new activities.

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“We want to make sure that kids are successful and safe in all their activities,” says Watson. “Our team works with children of all ages to create recovery and treatment plans that help them get back on the field and back to having fun.”

The start of the school year is an exciting time for parents, teachers and especially students – new classes, new sports teams and activities. As kids head back into the classroom and onto the playing field after months of vacation, it’s important to take precautions to reduce the risk of injury. BreakThrough Physical Therapy has highlighted some areas of concern and ways to avoid injury to keep kids healthy and strong throughout the school year.

Take a Load Off - Avoid Injury by using Backpacks Correctly
Picking out a new backpack is a yearly tradition for many kids. Parents should make sure their children choose a backpack that fits them properly - with shoulder straps adjusted so the pack is close to the body and above the waistline.

Backpacks are designed to be worn with both straps in place and should be worn as such so that the weight is distributed evenly. Parents should also make sure kids are not loading too many books in their bag. Encourage your kids to only bring home the books they’ll need that night for homework. If you observe that your child is leaning forward while carrying their backpack, it is probably too heavy.

“We recommend that children carrying no more than 10 to 15% of their weight. So if you’re child weighs 60 pounds, their backpack should not weigh more than 9 pounds,” states Mark Watson, MPT, MBA, OCS, Physio at BreakThrough Physical Therapy. “Kids who regularly carry too much in their backpack can suffer from back pain due to too much strain on their back.”

Try Out for the Team Safely – Stay Injury-Free on the Playing Field
Fall sports, like football, field hockey and soccer, are great for keeping kids healthy and active but also present a serious risk for injury. Before your child starts the season, make sure they know the importance of stretching and warming up before taking the field.

“Five or ten minutes of stretching everyday will improve general flexibility and also help prevent injury,” explains Watson. If your child complains about a nagging ache or pain, schedule an appointment with a BreakThrough Physio who can address the issue and put together a recovery plan.

Parents also need to be in the know regarding head injuries. Concussions are a major concern and it’s important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a minor head injury. If your child experiences any kind of head injury, a medical professional should be consulted before returning to the playing field. Symptoms for a head injury, like a headache, sluggishness or dizziness, may not appear until 48 to 72 hours after the injury. Don’t wait until a symptom arises before speaking with a medical professional.

Stay Active, Stay Safe
Growing up with a healthy lifestyle helps children create a foundation for a lifetime filled with physical activity. In order to maintain that healthy lifestyle, kids should feel comfortable sharing their aches and pains with parents so they can undergo the proper treatment.

“We want to make sure that kids are successful and safe in all their activities,” says Watson. “Our team works with children of all ages to create recovery and treatment plans that help them get back on the field and back to having fun.”

For more news and information from BreakThrough Physical Therapy, please visit BreakThroughPTclinics.com and click on the news and events icon.

About BreakThrough Physical Therapy (BTPT):

BreakThrough Physical Therapy (BTPT) is a private physical therapy practice with six locations in Greensboro, Fayetteville, Morehead City, and Winston Salem, North Carolina. BreakThrough Physios pride themselves in having advanced training in delivering hands-on treatment to achieve optimal results in a shorter timeframe for patients suffering from all orthopedic conditions. Common conditions treated include sports and work related injuries, neck and back pain, headaches, and muscle and tendon disorders. For more information visit BreakThroughPTclinics.com

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Julie Koszalinski
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