With the start of the new school year just around the corner many families are getting kids ready for school with new shoes and backpacks. But what should you be looking for when choosing these?
Medibank podiatrist Adam Chalmers says there are a number of things to check when fitting your child for school shoes.
• Depending on your child’s age, decide if you need laces or velcro
• Check the heel area at the back of the shoe – a deeper heel area will hold the foot better
• You should have a thumb width of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe
• Make sure the width of the shoe isn’t applying pressure – if it does it’s too tight
• The shoe shouldn’t bend in the arch – only at the ball of the foot or not at all
• And look for a removable insole – not only is it good for cushioning but it’s replaceable and allows for better cleaning inside the shoe
When buying a backpack you should focus on functionality rather than looks and style according to Medibank physio Rob Edwards.
• Shoulder straps should be well padded and the bag should have multiple compartments
• When carrying the bag, make sure the straps are done up tight to keep the bag close to the body
• Pack heaviest things at the back of the bag closest to the spine – where the body is best able to carry it
• If your child gets a sore neck or back look at how they’re packing their bag – can anything be removed – and make sure they’re carrying it correctly – straps tight
Adam and Rob are part of Medibank’s HealthStrong team who provide healthcare services such as physiotherapy, pain management, podiatry and occupational therapy to people in their home and in retirement and care facilities around Australia. Medibank employs more than 1,300 health professionals who offer support to customers in the home, on the phone, online and in care facilities around Australia.