Backpack Shopping Tips
Before you head out back to school shopping with your kids, have you thought about how damaging a backpack can be to your child's back? While a backpack may seem harmless, a bag that is too heavy can cause significant pain in children. Follow these tips for bookbag that is easy on your child's back.
Copyright (c) 2014 LifeWorks Integrative health
Lunches, textbooks, workbooks, notebooks, gym clothes and more can all quickly make a seemingly harmless book bag a danger to your child's health. Backpacks are the cause of 60 percent of back pain in children. Before you go back to school shopping this year, here are some things you need to know about backpacks.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, children between the ages of 5-18 account for 6,500 emergency room visits related to carrying a backpack that is too heavy for them. More research indicates that by the end of the school year, nearly 60 percent of all school-aged children will experience at least one episode of lower back pain. Backpacks that are too heavy are responsible for a significant amount of back pain from children ranging in age from elementary school all the way up through college. Common symptoms of poor backpack loading and carrying can include headaches, poor posture, neck pain and shoulder pain or stiffness. Let's take a look at some tips for backpack safety for kids.
Tips for Backpack Safety for Kids:
Make sure your child's bookbag is no more than 5-10 percent of his/her body weight. A backpack that is too heavy will cause your child to bend forward in an attempt to better support the weight of his/her backpack rather than allow the shoulders and straps to support the weight. Weight is very important when it comes to backpack safety for kids.
Compartments are key. Look for a backpack with compartments to effectively pack your child's bag. You won't have to worry about your child's lunch being flattened under their textbooks.
When packing a backpack, make sure your child places items that are bulky or pointy away from the back of the backpack. An uneven surface rubbing against your child's back will be uncomfortable and can lead to painful blisters.
Encourage your child to use both shoulder straps on their backpack, not just one. A backpack that is only supported with one strap disproportionately shifts all of the weight of the bag to one side of your child. This can cause lower back pain as well as neck and muscle spasms. Using two straps in key in backpack safety for kids.
Opt for a backpack with padded shoulder straps. Padded shoulder straps are definitely more comfortable and they will not dig into your child's shoulders.
Shoulder straps should be adjustable. This can help you fit the backpack to your child's body. Straps that are too loose can cause your child's backpack to dangle and be uncomfortable. This can cause misalignment and pain in your child's back.
Talk to your child's school. If your child's bookbag continues to be too heavy despite taking every precaution to save your child's back, it may be possible to leave the heavy books at school and work from workbooks and handouts at home.
One of the most important things you can do when it comes to backpack safety for kids is talk to your children. Make sure your children know how to properly wear their backpacks. Help them to understand why carrying too much stuffy or why only using one strap is bad for their backs. Children, who are educated about the importance of backpack ergonomics early on, can carry these lessons with them through high school, college and beyond.If you have questions about backpack safety for kids or your child has complained of back pain, contact a chiropractor today. Your child and family may benefit from chiropractic care.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matthew Gianforte, DC serves the Kansas City and Johnson County area focusing on the underlying cause of diseases through a whole systems approach with Functional Medicine and Chiropractic. Stop managing symptoms and start treating the underlying cause of disease, thereby addressing our chronic disease epidemic. Connect on Facebook, and Google+.