Category: Health & Fitness

How to Have a Productive Conversation with Your Kids About Cigarette Smoking

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide. Currently, smoking causes 6 million deaths per year. By 2030, that figure is set to rise to more than 8 million.

The best way to prevent smoking-related deaths is to deter children from picking up the habit in the first place.

But, that’s easier said than done. Whether it’s as a result of peer pressure, lack of smoking education or a desire to rebel, more and more teens are smoking every day. In fact, every day in the US, a total of 3,200 under-18s smoke their first cigarette.

So, how can parents intervene? Effective prevention starts with a conversation. That means encouraging an open dialogue without judgment or threats. Your child is much more likely to make the right choice when it comes to smoking if you allow them to find their own path.

Read on to find out how to talk to your child about smoking.

Start Early

It’s never too early to start talking to your children about smoking. You might not think it’s important when your child is only five or six. After all, they’re unlikely to start smoking on the kindergarten playground.

But, when your kid is young, they are more likely to look up to you as the authority on right and wrong. By starting the discussion early, you can make sure you and your child are on the right path long before smoking is even an issue.

Young children also tend to be more sensitive to signs of smoking such as yellow teeth and bad smells. Don’t go overboard, but be sure to make them aware that smoking is the cause of these problems. This strong association will then have more of a lasting impact when they’re old enough to decide for themselves.

Focus on What’s Important to Your Child

Children may not understand or care about the long-term health effects of smoking such as cancer and lung problems. Instead, try to focus on what they care about to explain why smoking is a bad choice:


It’s easier to demonstrate the imminent effects of smoking to your child, especially ones they can physically see. Explain how yellow teeth, thinning hair, and wrinkles are all ways in which smoking can ruin your looks.

If they’re at that age where they’re starting to care more about their appearance, this could make them pay more attention to your concerns.


Your child might respond well to a conversation about the financial impact of smoking. Talk about your family’s household budget with them and explain how much the average smoker spends each day, month and year.

Calculate the cost of smoking over 10 or 20 years with your child and discuss what they could buy with the same money. They’ll get a better idea of what an expensive habit smoking is. Not to mention, a lot less fun than computer games or any other hobbies they might want to spend their money on.


If your child likes sports, focus on the physical impact that smoking has on athletic performance. Explain that smoking could leave him or her unable to run as fast. Or it might mean that they have to stop playing because they’re out of breath.

Celebrity Role Models

It can often seem like most celebrities smoke. As a result, it’s not that easy to find non-smoking role models for your kids to look up to.

But, it can help to support your argument if your kid’s favorite celebrity doesn’t smoke or quit smoking. That celebrity’s reasons for quitting smoking might also help you explain more about addiction and why many people who smoke wish they had never started.

Strength of Character

If your child has a strong personality and knows their own mind, use that to your advantage. Explain about the hold that cigarettes can have on people and how many children start smoking due to peer pressure.

They might not necessarily want to do what you say all the time. But, they may end up deciding against cigarettes for themselves.

Talk About Addiction

You child might not understand why they see so many people smoking if it’s meant to be such a bad habit.

This is why it’s important to talk about addiction with your child. Explain how the nicotine in cigarettes is one of the most addictive substances in the world. They may not fully understand the concept of addition. But, by explaining how people struggle with quitting and find it hard to stop, it might help them grasp the concept of being addicted to something.

Older children can also benefit from learning about smoking cessation statistics and stop smoking aids. When they see how many smokers want to quit and how some people have to resort to hypnosis to stop, they will get a better idea of just how addictive smoking is.

Explain the Dangers of Alternatives

When we were children, our parents only had to explain the dangers of smoking cigarettes to us. Now, as parents ourselves, we have to also consider the dangers of alternatives such as electronic cigarettes, hookahs, and vape pens.

In fact, vaping is now an epidemic in high schools. There was a 900 percent increase in e-cigarette use among high school students between 2011 and 2015. Since e-cigarettes come in fun flavors, like jam monster or bubble gum, many youngsters think that they’re similar to candy.

Educate your child by explaining what goes into e-cigarettes, including a lot of harmful chemicals and toxic metals. And explain how these can cause breathing problems, tooth loss, and cancer. This will help you show that these alternatives are dangerous too.

Avoid Lecturing Your Child

Sweeping statements and strong negative opinions about smoking can sometimes encourage your kids to rebel against you.

Don’t forbid your child from smoking or say that all smokers are bad or stupid. Instead, ask them questions to gauge what they think about smoking. Avoid forcing your views down their throat and allow them to come to their own conclusions. Welcome questions and curiosity about smoking.

And, always be honest with them. If you’ve ever smoked or tried cigarettes, tell them about your experiences. Children are good at picking up on whether you’re being genuine or not, and your child will be more responsive if you tell them the truth.

By keeping the conversation free from judgment or threats, your child will be much more willing to discuss cigarettes with you. And, your child is also more likely to share with you when he or she is offered cigarettes.

Discuss How to Say No

When it comes to smoking, the one thing you can’t ignore is that your child is likely to be offered a cigarette at some point.

Deter this by talking to your child about how to say no without losing face in front of his or her friends. With an argument or reasoning ready at hand, your child is less likely to give in to peer pressure and say yes.

You might even try role-playing with your child. You can play the part of a fellow student, and your child has to practice different ways to refuse your offer of a cigarette. Encourage your child to come up with their own personal reasons for saying no. But, if they’re not sure, suggest that they could say they don’t like the taste, the smell, or the way they make him or her out of breath.

Set a Good Example

It has to be said, a lot of your advice and guidance will fall on deaf ears if you’re a smoker yourself.

Even if you say you want to quit or wish you didn’t smoke, your words won’t hold as much weight if your actions don’t match what you say. Children imitate what they see their parents do. Which is why parents who smoke are twice as likely to have children who smoke.

An obvious solution is to quit. The thought of encouraging your child to smoke with your own behavior could be just the catalyst you need.

And, in the meantime, don’t smoke around your children, and insist on a smoke-free home. With fewer people smoking around your child, he or she will be less likely to normalize it.

Watch for Signs of Smoking

With older children, it’s important to watch out for signs that they may have already started smoking. Keep an eye out for shortness of breath, smelly clothing, coughing, bad breath, and sudden overuse of perfumes and minty gum.

If you think your child has started smoking, ask them outright. But, don’t resort to throwing accusations around, and definitely don’t start yelling if the answer is yes.

Express your disappointment, then ask questions to establish whether they have just tried it a few times or are actually smoking as a habit.

It’s also important to find out why they’re smoking. It may be to fit in with a peer group, or it could be their way of reacting to a recent divorce or problems at home.

Avoid reacting with threats and ultimatums. Instead, talk through a plan to help your child avoid cigarettes in the future. And, explain what the consequences will be if they continue smoking.

Provide the Best Smoking Education for Your Child

By helping your child understand the dangers of smoking and giving them the tools to make decisions for themselves, you are providing the best kind of smoking education for your child.

Check out our other blog posts on family life for more advice and tips. And, feel free to get in touch with any questions or comments!

How to Save Money on Exercise Equipment for Your Home Gym

In theory, setting up a home gym sounds like it should save you money. It’ll prevent you from having to pay for a gym membership to get a good workout in while also cutting down on your gym commute time.

But one of the things you’ll find after committing to putting a home gym together is that the exercise equipment you’ll need for it can be very expensive. Treadmills, stationary bikes, and even dumbbells can be a lot more costly than you might think.

Don’t let that discourage you from attempting to put together a home gym anyway! There are lots of ways you can assemble a home gym without spending a fortune.

Here are some tips that will help you bring your home gym to life while also keeping your costs way down.

Buy Used Exercise Equipment

There are some people who will run right out to the closest sporting goods store after deciding that they’re going to build a home gym. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to filling up your home gym.

If you go to a store, you’re going to pay hundreds and, in most cases, thousands of dollars for brand new exercise equipment. It won’t be long before you’re broke and hostile about how much you were forced to pay for your home gym.

Instead, look around in your area and find used exercise equipment that will do the same exact thing that new equipment will. It’ll do it at a fraction of the cost of new equipment.

You can find used equipment at garage sales and going-out-of-business events. You can also find it on auction sites and through Facebook groups. You might even spot a perfectly good piece of used equipment sitting on someone’s curb on garbage day!

Keep your eyes peeled. There are millions of Americans who buy workout equipment every year and then stop using it.

At some point, they’re going to try and sell it. And when they do, you should be there to swoop in and take it off their hands for a great price.

Purchase Multifunction Exercise Equipment

Ideally, you might want to fill your home gym up with things like treadmills, elliptical machines, rowers, and more.

That’s great if you’re able to do it by patiently waiting for used equipment to hit the open market (or the curb!). But you should know that you don’t need to have all this equipment to get a total body workout.

There are lots of affordable pieces of workout equipment that can help you complete a wide range of exercises at home without the hassle of relying on a machine.

Resistance exercise bands are an excellent example of this. There isn’t much to these bands, and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg. But you can perform dozens and dozens of exercises with them.

Here are some of the exercises you’ll be able to do with the bands:

  • Front squats
  • Leg curls
  • Standing adductors
  • Seated rows
  • Lat pulldowns
  • Bench press
  • Overhead press
  • Concentration curls
  • Kneeling crunches
  • And more!

This website can help you find the exercise band that would be right for you. You can also find mobility tools, protective gear, and more.

Use Water to Create Weights for Exercising

Most people are completely shocked when they see how much that weights like kettlebells cost. It’s not out of the ordinary for a single kettlebell to range in price from $50 all the way up to $300.

Paying that kind of money is outrageous and not worth it if your goal is to assemble an affordable home gym.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to get around buying weights. Rather than dropping serious dough on kettlebells and other weights, you can use the weight of water to your advantage.

Take a couple old laundry detergent jugs and fill them up with water. Then, try to pick one of them up. You’ll be surprised by how heavy they are and how much of a challenge they will be to lift.

You can use those jugs in place of weights. You can also use regular water jugs and other containers that you can fill with water to create weights.

As an added bonus, you can remove or add water to containers to make them lighter or heavier depending on which workouts you’re going to be doing.

Repurpose Household Items Into Workout Equipment

There are all kinds of things laying around your house that you can probably repurpose in order to make your own makeshift exercise equipment.

For instance, are you on the hunt for a step that you can use for aerobics? You can go and buy one for upwards of $50 at a store. Or you can take a phone book and cover it in duct tape to create a step of your own.

You likely have lots of household items like this sitting around your home that you can use. Go down in your basement or up in your attic to see what you can find.

Take Your Cardio Workouts Outside

If it’s the dead of winter and there’s a foot of snow on the ground, walking or running outside might be out of the question.

But outside of a few tough times of the year, you should be able to do most of your cardio exercises outside. You can walk, jog, run, sprint, jump rope, and more to get a good cardio workout in.

And best of all, you won’t have to worry about maintaining a treadmill or any other equipment to do it.

Use Your Home Gym to Get Into Better Shape

Now that you know how to find and make exercise equipment for your home gym, start doing it today. It won’t be long before you’re working out at home and seeing real results.

Continue to look around for equipment that might work well in your home gym. You can add equipment to it over time to keep challenging yourself to work out harder.

Read our blog for more thrifty tips on keeping yourself in great shape.

4 Benefits of Genetic Testing You Should Note

benefits of genetic testingHave you ever been curious about where you come from? Do you want to know more about your unique genetic makeup?

Whether you want to find out where in the world your ancestors are from or want to gain insight into specific health conditions, genetic testing can help.

If you’re on the fence about this kind of testing, keep reading. Listed below are four great benefits of genetic testing that you ought to consider.

What is Genetic Testing?

You’ve probably seen that there are lots of businesses out there that offer genetic and DNA testing. But, what actually are these tests?

Genetic testing is a type of voluntary testing that identifies changes in the body’s chromosomes, proteins, and genes.

There are several methods used for gene testing. You can visit a lab to get your tests done, but many people are also turning to at-home tests provided by companies like Legacy Tree. These tests typically only require a simple saliva sample.

Top Four Benefits of Genetic Testing

There are lots of reasons to consider genetic testing, including the following:

1. Gain Insights into Your Health

Genetic testing allows you to gain important insights into your health. For example, the results of a genetic test can help you learn more about your predisposition to specific diseases like cancer or dementia.

Genetic testing also lets you know if you have any genetic mutations — such as the MTHFR mutation — that could stop your genes from making normal proteins and functioning properly.

2. Ease Anxiety

If you have a family history of a specific illness and are worried about the chances that you or your child could develop it, genetic testing can provide a source of relief.

Why spend years worrying about whether or not you’ll be stricken with an illness when you can rule it out with a simple test?

3. Make Informed Family Planning Decisions

If you’re planning for future children, genetic testing can help you determine whether or not your child will be at risk of inheriting a genetic condition that you or your partner possess.

When you have this knowledge, you can make informed family planning decisions and be better prepared for future obstacles.

4. Take Action Early

Just because you test positive for a certain gene, that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to develop the disease associated with it.

That positive result, though, can help encourage you to take action and change your lifestyle to reduce your risk of getting sick later in life.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are lots of benefits of genetic testing. One of the most important, though, is the information it can provide you about your health.

Armed with knowledge about specific health risks you may be facing, you can use the results of your tests to motivate you to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Worried about the costs associated with healthy living? Don’t be.

There are lots of ways that you can save money while also making your health a top priority. Check out the health and fitness section of the site today to learn how you can get healthy without breaking the bank.

Natural Pain Relief: 9 Proven Ways to Relieve Your Chronic Pain Without Needing Medication

pain reliefSome 40 million American adults suffer from severe and frequent pain. If you’re one of them, knowing that you’re not alone can be comforting. But it doesn’t take the pain away.

Long-term prescription painkiller use is concerning. About 40% of opioid drug overdose deaths happen on prescription opioids, not street drugs. Even more mild NSAID painkillers like aspirin or ibuprofen can wreak havoc in your body when used long term.

There must be a better solution for pain relief than medication.

There is. Check out these 9 natural pain relief options.

1. Exercise

Endorphins are the body’s own natural painkiller. Few people are aware of how effective this hormone can be at raising your pain threshold.

One of the best ways to release endorphins in the body is through regular exercise. For some people, though, pain is part of the reason they avoid exercise.

However, even starting small and gradually increasing your activity level can improve your symptoms. Gentle exercises like simple yoga moves and stretching can do wonders to get you started. Once you start feeling better, your body will actually crave exercise and you’ll enjoy it, further enhancing its pain diminishing effects.

2. Hot/Cold Compresses

For localized pain, alternating hot and cold compresses can be effective. This is especially helpful if exercise aggravates a certain pain. Exercise for the systemic effect and then use hot and cold compresses to relieve the most painful points.

Why does this work? The application of heat and cold cause the body to release heat-shock and cold-shock proteins. These help to reduce inflammation and naturally relieve the associated pain.

3. Curcumin

What if there were an anti-inflammatory you could take that was more effective than ibuprofen without the nasty side effects? Amazingly enough, there is!

Turmeric root contains the bioactive compound curcumin. This compound is highly effective at treating inflammation, one of the main underlying causes of pain.

You can get curcumin through eating turmeric root, but the concentration is very low (only about 2-5%). For best results, you should look for a curcumin supplement. Curcumin is fat soluble, so taking it with oil will help your body absorb it better.

4. Fish Oil

Fish oil is another powerful anti-inflammatory. The results are pretty impressive.

This study found that after taking fish oil for 75 days, nearly 60% of participants stopped taking their prescription painkillers. If you’re looking for a simple way to get away from medication, this could be it.

5. CBD Oil

Another oil that has been getting a lot of attention recently is CBD oil. Though it comes from the marijuana plant, it doesn’t have the same psychotropic effects as THC. Read more about the difference between CBD and THC here.

CBD oil is legal in 30 states but with restrictions and limited availability, hard evidence of its effects is still scant. Plus, without standard regulation, not all CBD oil is equal.

However, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence showing that CBD oil can be an effective treatment for pain. Just be sure to buy it from a reputable supplier.

6. Vitamin D

About 1 billion people globally are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D is interesting in that simple sun exposure causes the body to naturally produce it. But with growing concerns about skin cancer, it seems that people are losing out on this important nutrient.

A vitamin D deficiency can affect your quality of sleep. Poor sleep can increase inflammation in the body and worsen your pain. If you don’t sleep well, trying a vitamin D supplement may help with that and your pain symptoms.

You could also try going for a walk outdoors every day to get a little exercise and vitamin D in one fell swoop.

7. Mediterranean Food

Processed foods and overconsumption of sugar can lead to excess inflammation in the body. If that tends to be the bulk of your diet, an overhaul might be in order.

Opting for a Mediterranean style diet full of fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, and olive oil can make a huge difference. This type of food will help regulate your blood sugar levels and control inflammation. If you’re overweight, this is a particularly good choice as it helps promote weight loss.

8. Acupuncture

Acupuncture treatments have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine. Modern medicine is catching on and there is compelling evidence that the treatment is effective for pain relief.

The treatment involves sticking tiny needles into certain points of the body. Not only does this stimulate the release of healing hormones but also can affect the brain and cause it to experience pain differently.

Do you feel like you need a little something extra on top of diet, exercise, and supplements? Acupuncture could be what you’re looking for. Of course, be sure to seek out a licensed practitioner for best results and safety.

9. Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy

This might sound more like something that belongs in science fiction. But there is evidence that shows sending an electromagnetic pulse through the body’s tissues can help reduce inflammation.

This is one of the pricier options for natural pain relief on this list. But it definitely worth it to stay off prescription painkillers and still enjoy some pain relief.

You Can Find Natural Pain Relief

All this to say, natural pain relief is possible. Every person’s body is different so you may have to experiment a little to find the right method of pain relief for you.

Just know that there are plenty of options out there. You don’t have to choose between taking potentially dangerous medication and living with chronic pain. There are ways to avoid both altogether.

For more great health tips and tricks, be sure to visit our blog. We’re constantly updating with new information to help you live the best, healthiest life possible!

5 Financial Tips for Families Facing the Cost of Drug Rehab

cost of drug rehabSubstance abuse costs Americans around $740 billion every year.

The cost of drug rehab is a huge part of this figure, and many of those who struggle with addiction are unable to afford it.

If you or someone you love is one of them, there are options for you. In this post, we’ll tell you how you can make it work.

Ways to Cover the Cost of Drug Rehab

Drug and alcohol addiction can be devastating, but the cost of rehab doesn’t have to be. Here’s how you can afford it.

1. Use Non-Profit or State-Funded Rehab Centers

State-funded rehab centers offer treatment to low-income communities.

At these facilities, treatment is provided at very low prices, or sometimes even for free. Applicants simply need to provide proof of their income before they can be admitted. If it falls below a certain threshold, they’ll be accepted.

Non-profit organizations also offer help to people who can’t afford treatment. One of the most well-known ones is the Salvation Army. Their no-fee rehab programs include counseling, housing, food, and holistic work therapy.

2. Financing

Many treatment centers allow you to finance your addiction treatment plans, so you don’t have to pay hefty one-off fees. Instead, you can pay it off in small increments, at a pace you can afford to keep up with.

These centers can work with you to find a payment plan that fits into your budget, so rehabilitation costs don’t have to set you back.

3. Insurance

If you have private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, there are options for you. Some rehabilitation centers accept these types of insurance, so the majority of the costs are covered.

However, not all types of treatment are covered. The restrictions and limitations will differ depending on your individual insurance plan, so make sure you know exactly what’s included and what you’ll have to pay for yourself.

For example, Medicare covers treatment for alcohol or substance abuse. However, this is only for older adults age 65 and over.

4. Grants

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides grants to centers offering opiate addiction treatment, therapy, or counseling for addiction and mental health issues.

To be referred to one of their low-cost treatment centers, you can call their 24-hour hotline on 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

5. Personal Loans

When you can’t seem to cover the costs of rehabilitation in any other way, the last option is to apply for a short-term personal loan.

You may be able to get a personal loan from your bank, or from friends or family members. To raise some extra cash, you may also want to consider selling some personal assets.

You can also try fundraising. You can do this by holding fundraising events or creating crowdfunding campaigns on social media. When you do, you may be surprised by how many people are willing to help by making donations.

Avoid Addiction

Substance abuse doesn’t always mean addiction to alcohol or hard drugs.

Many people struggle with addictions to prescription drugs, too.

In many cases, this begins as misuse of painkillers that have been prescribed by a doctor. Then, it spirals into something more dangerous.

To avoid addiction and the cost of drug rehab, read our post on the addictive prescription meds you should avoid.

What is the Average Price of Contacts Online?

average price of contactsThere are more than 45 million contact lens wearers in the United States alone.

If you’re among them, then we know that you’d love to learn how you can save on contacts. While contacts are a convenient and comfortable alternative to glasses, it’s no secret that the cost of lenses can add up quite quickly.

In this post, we’d love to let you know more about the cheapest way to get contact lenses — without sacrificing on quality.

We’ll cover things like the average price of contacts, where to buy cheap contacts, and much more.

When you’re ready to start saving, keep on reading.

The Average Price of Contacts

While there’s certainly no hard and fast rule regarding the average price of contacts, there are a few things that can influence the cost.

Your specific prescription, the brand you choose to buy, and the unique kind of lens that you rely on to help improve your vision will all impact how much money you’ll spend on contacts each year.

In general, those that wear disposable daily contact lenses should expect to pay anywhere from about $500 to just over $700 each year on their lenses.

If you have presbyopia, you’ll likely pay up to $70 per box for lenses to correct your vision.

However, if you switch out your lenses about once every two weeks, and wear lenses to help with nearsightedness and other common vision problems? You may be able to spend just under $300 a year on your lenses.

But if you have astigmatism, you’ll need tonic/soft contacts, which can run you back up to an average price of about $700 a year.

Finally, if you buy contact lenses for more cosmetic reasons, such as to change your eye color or for special effects, you could easily find yourself spending upwards of $100 for a single pair.

As you can see, the average contact lenses cost per year varies greatly depending on your unique vision and needs.

The good news?

Where you choose to purchase your lenses can help you to save on contacts.

The Cheapest Way to Buy Contact Lenses? Online.

We strongly suggest trying to buy your lenses online when you want to save both time and money.

Shopping for your contact lenses online means that you’ll enjoy a faster shipping speed, a greater variety of brands, and the ability to buy in bulk to save. In some cases, you may even be able to apply online discount codes to your order.

Just make sure that you know whether or not the cost of shipping your lenses is included in the price that you’re being shown.

There are a few key things to be on the lookout for when you’ve decided to shop for your lenses online.

First of all, ensure that the seller asks for a current prescription for your lenses — after all, it’s the law! The seller needs to be able to verify your prescription for lenses by contacting the eye care professional who wrote it for you.

Make sure that you’ve also familiarized yourself with the return policy associated with the online seller, and that you know how they’ll secure your payment information.

Finally, we also suggest studying up on past online reviews left by other customers. If the reviews seem to be mostly negative, and if customers are complaining the orders were late — or that they never arrived?

Run for the hills!

To learn more about ordering contact lenses over the Internet, we urge you to check out this guide on the LensPure website.

Other Ways to Save on Contacts

So, what are some other popular money-saving hacks when it comes to getting the lenses you need?

Especially if you haven’t yet decided which brand or type you like best, you should always ask your doctor to hook you up with a few free samples. You can also ask them if they have any discount coupons that you could use on your next purchase.

You can also head to a big-box retailer. In addition to saving you money, you’ll also be able to get the lenses you need without having to wait for them to be delivered.

Additionally, always make sure that you follow the instructions for proper lens care on each box. You don’t want to risk shortening the life of your contacts by damaging them, or even causing them to tear!

One thing you should never do in order to save cash on your lenses?

Wear them for longer than is recommended.

Not only will this reduce their effectiveness, rendering wearing them at all pretty pointless. It could also lead to serious eye infections and, in some cases, permanent damage to your vision.

It’s just not worth it.

Where to Buy Cheap Contacts: Wrapping Up

We hope that this post has helped to better educate you about the average price of contacts.

When you’re ready to save, we hope that you give a few of these tips a try.

Of course, we know that your contact lenses aren’t the only things that you want to save money on!

Whether you’re looking for ways to cut costs on baby food, how to score deals on e-retail websites, or if you just want to know how to live more frugally (but still enjoy life?)

We’ve got you covered.

We even have a freebies and deals section, so that you’ll never have to miss out on an opportunity to save again.

Keep checking back with our website for more ways to save on everything in your life.

7 Causes of Back Pain in Your Child and When You Should Worry

back pain in kidsIt’s normal for adults to have back pain from time to time, especially if the individual who’s dealing with it is under a lot of stress or not taking good care of their body. Everything from the quality of sleep you get to how active you are throughout the day plays into how much back pain you experience.

But, have you noticed your child bringing up their back pain more and more? Do you worry about their spine’s wellbeing?

If so, the time to educate yourself about spinal health is now. Here are 7 signs of back pain in kids as well as a bit of insight for how you can help them combat the pain.

1. Bad Posture

There’s a reason parents should teach their children to have good posture, and it goes way beyond presenting themselves well. Although keeping your shoulders back and your head up does do wonders for your confidence, the main purpose of good posture is to protect the spine.

When a child is constantly hunching over at their school desk or walking with their shoulders’ slouched, they’re putting unnecessary stress on their back. This can develop into chronic pain and lead to more troubling issues if not treated. As such, make sure you positively correct your children whenever you see them using bad posture.

2. Heavy Backpacks

Speaking of bad posture, admittedly, it’s hard to walk around with a straight back when lugging around a heavy backpack. If you notice your child is slouching under the weight of their school bag, suggest that they carry a few of their heavier books in their hands or offer to get them a rolling backpack.

The thing with rolling backpacks is they aren’t really “cool” after a certain age. But, the good news is that most middle schools and high schools have created systems that allow students to use more technology in the classroom and/or keep their schoolbooks at home. This prevents the need for them to carry everything around all the time.

3. A Developing Injury

Maybe it’s not how your child sits in school or everything they carry in between classes that are affecting their spine. Maybe it’s an injury from an extracurricular activity gone unnoticed.

It’s not like you wouldn’t know if your child was seriously injured. But, sometimes minor issues can develop into more intense pains.

This can happen when a muscle in the back is pulled or if a shoulder or neck injury starts affecting the neighboring areas of the body. The best thing to do in such situations is to seek out kids chiropractic care and get professional answers and treatment.

4. Disc Problems

Another sign that your child has back pain worth treating is if they have a disc problem. The spine is made of 23 discs in total from the neck to the lower back. All it takes is for one of these to be displaced for your child to feel an intense amount of pain, and as surprising as it may sound, it doesn’t take much to move a disc.

This can happen as a result of sudden movement or after a strong impact. It can create a sharp pain right away or grow in intensity over time. As such, the best thing to do is treat a dislocated disc the moment it’s identified.

5. Alignment Issues

As bad as it is to have a dislocated disc, that’s not the only spinal alignment issue that may occur in your child’s body. The other is a development issue that occurs in adolescence.

It’s possible for the spine to develop a curve that is a little different from the normal way it’s supposed to bend. The curve may be too far to one side or the other, or it could also be cramped like in the form of a hunchback.

The medical terms for alignment issues include scoliosis, lordosis, and kyphosis. Each one pertains to a unique alignment problem that may develop and require treatment. Treatment ranges from physical therapy and at-home stretching to surgery.

6. Spinal Infection

Brace yourself, because as bad as the issues mentioned above are, there are still some other possible reasons why your child’s back is hurting. The next thing to consider is the chance that your child has contracted a spinal infection. Such conditions are rare, but they’re definitely not impossible.

This would require very careful medical attention and treatment. It’s not like one visit to the chiropractor will cure this kind of situation, but most spinal infections do have a handful of treatment options available.

7. A Tumor

This is what every parent prays their child never gets. It’s one of the worst pieces of news you can receive as a family, however, it’s not something to rule out until you know for sure. There’s a chance your child’s back pain is the result of a tumor growing in their spine or back.

There is a bit of good news, though. Most tumors found in the spinal column are benign, which means they are noncancerous. As such, these tumors usually have a standard procedure to be fixed with.

Treating Back Pain in Kids

It’s a much different thing to treat back pain in kids as it is to identify the source. After all, a child who is dealing with scoliosis or a dislocated disc is not going to have the same treatment plan as one with a spinal infection or a serious spinal injury.

Everything is situational. But, there is hope for your child when you know what signs of back pain to look for and how to get help for the condition they have.

For more wellness and parenting tips to use with your family, click here.