Back-to-School Prep Made Easy: Top Tips for Parents

A picture of a parent holding her children's hands as they head back to school. This article will share the best and most important tips for parents when preparing for the new school year. From our physiotherapists at Prohealth Sports and Spinal Physiotherapy Centres Hong Kong

Back-to-School Prep Made Easy: Our Top Tips for Parents

Preparing for back-to-school season can be challenging for busy mums. Between shopping for school supplies, picking out new clothes, and coordinating schedules, it's easy to forget one of the most important aspects of back-to-school prep: ensuring your child's physical health and well-being. That's where physiotherapy comes in.

With practical tips and tricks for both kids and mums, back-to-school prep can be a breeze. From exercises to improve posture to tips for carrying heavy backpacks, these tips will help you and your child stay healthy, active, and comfortable throughout the school year. Let's dive in!

Choose the Right Backpack

Shopping for a new school bag may get the kids excited about going back to school, and it’s great way to spend time with the kids. However, it is important to choose the right school bag based on your child’s size and needs.

Here are some key pointers from our physiotherapists:

1. Make sure the bag is no longer than the length, and no wider than the width of your child’s back.

2. Avoid over packing the backpack and always keep contents evenly distributed within the bag. Heavy backpacks can cause back and shoulder strain and pain.

3. Teach your child to use both straps and adjust the straps to distribute the weight evenly.

4. The bottom of the backpack should rest at the child’s waist and not be too low or too high. Frequent use of the bag will move the straps over time so it is a good idea to check the bag occasionally.

5. Consider purchasing a backpack with padded waist and chest straps for added support.

A visual representation of how to wear a backpack properly for school children. This article shares our physiotherapists' tips for parents to make back-to-school prep easy and optimal

Make sure that the bag fits your child correctly. Don't buy a bag that your child can 'grow' into as they develop. Image from Cannington Physiotherapy Australia

Get Supportive Footwear

Following on from backpacks is footwear. Getting the right footwear that is supportive and comfortable is crucial for good foot health and overall physical well-being. Ill-fitting shoes can cause a range of problems, from blisters and calluses to more serious issues like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis

Here are some key tips on getting right footwear for your child:

1. Look for shoes with good arch support. This can support the foot and prevent foot problems. Look for shoes that have a built-in arch support or consider adding an arch support insert.

2. Make sure shoes fit properly so they are not too loose or too tight. The shoes should have enough room for their toes to wiggle and should be comfortable.

3. Choose shoes with a good sole: Shoes with a good sole can help absorb shock and protects the joints. Look for shoes with a rubber sole that provides good traction and stability.

4. Consider the activity. For example, running shoes are designed for running and provide good shock absorption, while hiking boots provide good ankle support. So please get the appropriate footwear for the activity they are doing.

5. Replace shoes regularly. As children grow, their feet grow too. Replace old shoes regularly enough to ensure that their shoes always fit properly and provide the necessary support.

Practice and Maintain Good Posture

Proper posture is crucial for avoiding back and neck pain. This applies both your child and yourself!

Encourage your child to sit to the back of their chair in upright position, and change positions every 2 hours to avoid prolonged static sitting. If they are hunching over an iPad or laptop, invest in a raiser to reduce long periods of head down.

Consider investing in an ergonomic chair or desk that provides adequate support for their back and is at the right height. Ensure that child’s feet rest comfortably on the ground to help them maintain proper posture.

If your child is a toddler, make sure to maintain good posture when carrying your child as well. Lifting heavy objects can cause back pain if done improperly. Always lift with your legs, not your back, and avoid twisting while lifting.  If you’re child requires a lot of carrying, switch arms and sides regularly and stretch every 2 hours to avoid muscle tension building up.

Stay Active

Physical activity has been shown to improve a child’s physical, mental, and social health. Studies show that 80% of primary school children do not meet the minimum requirements of an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day.

Encourage your child to get enough exercise and/or enrol in sports clubs during the school year. Incorporate physical activity into their daily routine by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or doing quick stretches during study breaks. This could also be a good chance to lowering your child's use of electronic media as well.

If your child is aged 6 and above, a fun way to start is by getting an exercise ball. Your child, whether they know it or not will be able to develop their core strength and balance to maintain stability on the ball.

Participating in sports is great for children's physical fitness and coordination, but injuries can happen. Parents and coaches have a key role in helping children play safely and avoid injury. That's why we've written a separate article on how to prevent sports injuries in children!

Practice Self Care for Yourself

As a busy mum, it's easy to put your own needs last. However, taking care of yourself is essential for maintaining good physical and mental health. Stress can cause physical tension in the body, leading to pain and discomfort. Practise deep breathing exercises, take a relaxing bath, or schedule a massage to release tension and reduce stress.

Incorporate exercise and stretching into your daily routine, even if it's just a quick walk around the block, or yoga/Pilates session can help boost energy levels and reduce stress.

Additionally, you can practise deep breathing exercises, take a relaxing bath, or schedule a massage to release tension and reduce stress.

Incorporating these physiotherapy and health tips into your and your child's daily routine can make a big difference in your overall physical health and comfort during the back-to-school season. Remember to prioritize your health and well-being, and have a great school year!

Physiotherapy Treatments & Advice at Prohealth Sports And Spinal

Prohealth Sports and Spinal is here to provide practical advice for you and your kids! In the event that you or your child experiences back or neck pain, our physiotherapists provide comprehensive assessments based on the current level of pain, posture, and the patient's previous history of injuries. From there, we will work with you and your child to create a tailored therapy plan.

We understand that every child is unique; that's why our therapy plans are individually tailored to your child's specific needs. Our team of experienced physiotherapists uses the latest techniques and equipment to help your child overcome pain and achieve optimal physical health.

Contact Us Today

If you have any questions about rehabilitation, exercise techniques and injury prevention strategies for kids, we’re here to help! Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our physiotherapists.

For any enquiries, contact us at +852 2530 0073, or email