Your little ones are off to school again. Do the backpack checklist to make sure their spines are cared for. Adult back pain and spinal problems often stem from childhood activities, which include carrying a heavy loaded backpack for 12+ years of schooling.
According to an international study, daily backpack carrying is a frequent cause of discomfort for school children. School backpacks were felt to be heavy by 79.1% of children, to cause fatigue by 65.7%, and to cause back pain by 46.1%.
Back to School Check List:
- Backpack Weight Children should not carry a backpack that exceeds more than 10% of their body weight when packed. This golden rule goes for adults too. Overloaded packs can compress the spine unnaturally instead of depending on the back and abdominal muscles to carry the weight evenly across the spine.
- Backpack Position The backpack should not be carried any lower than the hollow of the lower back. Wearing it any lower will put more weight on your child’s shoulders, also making her lean forward to accommodate the extra load.
- Backpack Straps Choose a backpack with broad, padded shoulder straps. Thin and unpadded straps will cut into your child’s shoulders. Always use both shoulder straps to prevent neck and muscle spasms and low back pain. Also, if added use the waist straps attached. And always check the adjustment of the straps for proper fit as your child grows.
- Backpack Size The backpack should be appropriately sized – no wider than the child’s chest. Keep away from the largest sized ones as it will encourage your child to put in more items.
- Backpack Technique Place all heavy items at the base of the pack, close to the spine, for a better distribution of the weight. Large and pointy items such as lunchboxes, pencils or rulers in the backpack should be placed away from your child’s back. Look for a backpack with individualized compartments to help in positioning the contents most effectively.
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