It’s school time again and that means books, notebooks, snacks, bag lunches, and sweatshirts. All of these are often carried in school backpacks. You need to know these alarming statistics – the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported in 2014 that 3,203 school-age children were seen in emergency rooms due to backpack-related injuries.
To avoid these types of injuries we recommend the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends the following:
- Limit your child’s backpack weight to no more than 5-10% of his/her body weight. Your child will bend forward when carrying a heavier backpack.
- Choose a backpack with wide shoulder straps for comfort.
- Adjust the shoulder straps to keep the weight closer and avoid strain.
- Make sure the backpack does not hang more than 4 inches below your child’s waistline. If the backpack is too low it increases the weight on the shoulder and pulls your child forward when walking.
- A backpack with individualized compartments will allow positioning of the contents.
Learn the warning signs to look for because children don’t always speak-up when they are in pain. These signs would include:
- Red strap marks over the shoulders
- Difficult when putting on or taking off the backpack
- Posture changes from side to side while wearing the backpack
- Tingling in their arms or legs
- Headache and neck pain
If your child experiences any back problems, call our clinic. Chiropractic and strengthening exercises can be effective in strengthening the lower back and abdominal muscles. We are trained to analyze, identify and correct any misalignment.