BACKPACK SAFETY FOR BACK TO SCHOOL
I'm sure you've watched children walking to school, observing that some of them look as though they they are packed for the entire school year, not just for the day. Overloaded backpacks make me cringe and I see that it is more and more common to see. Young, growing spines need to not be weighed down and put at risk for injury. Studies show that heavy backpacks lead to back pain and poor posture and backpack related injuries resulted in 7,300 E.R. visits in 2006 (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission).
Packing a backpack properly needs to be taken seriously, in order to prevent a lifetime of posture problems, due to abnormal stress on the developing spine. Muscle and joint strain can occur causing pain and even headaches due to wearing a backpack improperly or if it is packed too heavy.
it is critical that your child carry no more than ten to fifteen percent of their body weight on their backs.
Backpack Safety Tips:
- Select packs with heavily padded shoulder straps and lumbar support
- Use both shoulder straps to distribute weight evenly across the back. Carry only what’s needed
- Pack heavier items closest to the back
- Distribute the weight of the contents in the backpack evenly
- Tighten the straps, keeping the backpack close to the body
- Make sure backpack does not extend below the low back
- Remind your child to bend at the knees, not at the waist, when lifting or lowering a heavy backpack.
- If you notice your child is experiencing pain or discomfort from backpack use, make an appt. for your child to be evaluated by their Chiropractor.
- Help your child learn exercises designed to develop strong core muscles, along with teaching them proper nutrition and sleeping habits