Teenage girl lying on the floor in the living room doing her homework using a laptop computer, low angle, close up, highlighting child habits hurting their spine.

How Your Child’s Habits Could be Hurting Their Spine

As a parent, you want to protect your children from any and every possible harm. However, it can be challenging to keep track of all they do and how it indirectly impacts their health. Unfortunately, many children’s daily habits have negative impacts on their spine. 

If your child is complaining about back pain, you notice that their posture is off, or you just want to be aware of healthy habits, keep reading below to learn more how your child’s habits could be hurting their spine.

Screen Time

With many schools currently operating through virtual learning, kids are finding themselves using technology as a daily part of life more than ever. In order for parents to help their kids establish healthy habits, we want to share effects on their spines that are not being considered from additional screen time.

Here are a few things you can do to help by encouraging proper posture with your child’s favorite pieces of tech! 

  • If they’re looking at their phone, tell them to hold it up in front of their face. Avoid hunching over with the screen in their lap.
  • Similarly with iPads, instead of slouching on the couch, ask them to sit up straight and enjoy their device at a table. 
  • If your child spends a lot of time sitting at a desk on their computer, make sure the monitor is set up correctly so that their screen is eye level and their feet can rest firmly on the floor or a stool

Physical Activity 

When your child is physically active, their body is properly developing the muscles that keep their spine, abdomen, lower back, and hips in tip-top shape. In other words, staying active can prevent injuries and pain from happening in the first place! 

Make sure your child has at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, whether that’s going outside to play or participating in a team sport. 

Backpack Safety  

If your child uses a backpack on a regular basis but isn’t careful about how it’s adjusted, this oversight can lead to aches and pains on their shoulders, neck, and spine. 

Here’s a few rules to keep in mind when adjusting your child’s backpack:

  • Ensure it sits evenly in the middle of their back. 
  • Their backpack shouldn’t have more than 10 to 15 percent of their body weight, meaning they should easily be able to put it on and take it off themselves.
  • No one-strap bags. In the same vein, don’t allow your child to wear their backpack on just one shoulder. 
  • Read more about how backpacks affect children’s spine health.

Pay Attention to Shoes 

Shoes with strong support are best for everyone, but especially kids who spend lots of time on their feet.  Try to select sneakers with support that are lightweight, flexible, and also breathable. Shoes without these characteristics can lead to issues with your child’s  feet, hips, and even lower back. 

If you have any additional questions about issues with back pain or posture or how your child’s habits could be hurting their spine, contact Alliance and Spine Health to speak with our specialists or call 770-929-9033.