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Going back to school can be a stressful time for both parents and children. Concerns about new teachers, new curriculum, and new friends come to the forefront of a parent’s mind, and we sometimes forget about other important issues that can encourage a healthy and rewarding school year.

Helping your child maintaining a healthy lifestyle can assist them in achieving the best academically, physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Here are a few tips to help parents learn important ways they can support their child’s health from preschool to graduation day.

  • Up to 17% of children in the USA are obese. Encourage physical activity, whether it be organized sports or just outdoor recreation. Children should have a minimum of 30 minutes a day of exercise, if not more.
  • Warm ups and stretching are very important before physical activity. These can help prevent tears and sprains of muscles and ligaments.
  • Know the types of common injuries your children could encounter.

o    All ages get bumps, bruises and scrapes

o    Elementary students – most often get broken bones in the upper extremities

o    Middle school and High school students – most often twisting or cutting injuries that can result in knee meniscus or ligament tears.

  • Know when to see medical care.

o    For a simple bump or bruise, taking a Tylenol or Advil and re-evaluating in the morning is just fine.

o    However, if pain is not getting better for a couple of days, severe swelling is present, loss of range of motion is encountered, or numbness or tingling is encountered, you should seek medical attention with a primary care physician or an orthopaedic surgeon.

  • Play Safe – Get your pre-participation sports physical completed. Ashley Regional Orthopaedics offers sports physicals done by a Sports Medicine Fellowship trained Orthopaedic Surgeon, Dr. Tyler Moore. Pre-participation physicals can sometimes catch things that can affect your child for the rest of their life.
  • Don’t get frustrated with an injury.

o    Musculoskeletal injuries take weeks to months to get better.

o    Don’t jump into surgery right away, ask your orthopaedic surgeon about Physical Therapy and medical options.