Shasta Health Room
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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
- 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).
What do I put in my student’s lunch box instead of peanut butter?
It may seem that there is nothing else that he/she will eat. Keep an open mind and be creative. Include your student in planning, purchasing and preparing a healthful lunch. Kids are often more likely to try a new food if they help prepare it. You can research new recipes together in books or on the computer. Listed below are a few ideas.
- Lean meat and/or cheese (try something “new”…turkey, cream cheese and cranberry sauce)
- Cream cheese and jelly or jam
- Refried beans (add corn, olives, cheese, etc.)
- Additions: lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers (maybe even sprouts!!)
Place fillings in whole wheat bread, bagels, pita or pocket breads, corn tortilla shells or flat wraps.
Kids can also be creative and cut sandwiches into shapes with cookie cutters and then make designs with dried and fresh fruit (such as raisins and mandarin oranges).
Ants on a log: Celery sticks with cream cheese and raisins.
Apple Sandwich: Core and slice an apple crosswise. Make a sandwich with the apples, using cheddar or ricotta cheese in the middle.
Chilled pasta salad: Make a chilled pasta salad with your choice of pasta shape and color, the dressing of your choice, and one of the following combinations:
- Thinly sliced carrots, snow peas, cucumbers, and tomatoes
- Broccoli and tuna or ham chunks
- Zucchini, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, and lima beans or frozen green peas
- Chicken and snow peas
- Corn and lima beans
- Anything else you can think of…..be creative!
Veggies and dip: Cut up vegetables, such as celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers and pack with a container of dressing or dip.
Chicken and apple salad: Cut an apple into chunks; add chicken cubes, seedless grapes, and celery.
- Pasta and sauce
- Chicken, bean or vegetable soup (again….be creative!)
- Rice with beans/meat and veggies and add the sauce of your choice (cajun, teriyaki, etc.)
- Thinly cooked potatoes with peas and carrots. Add meat slices or bacon pieces.
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