January 16, 2021

School Bags and Spine Damage!

Yet another Christmas is gone and sadly for kids this means is time to grab those books once again but luckily for mom’s they get to rest while they are gone!

back pain

As parents send their kids back to school. There is one essential item that requires very special attention: your child’s backpack. Backpack weight is becoming an increasing problem, and studies show that heavy backpacks can lead to both back pain and poor posture in children. Experts claim that many youngsters are carrying as much as 20 per cent of their weight to and from school, and some up to 25 per cent.

Doctors are seeing increasing numbers of young adults coming for treatment in relation to back trouble and this can often be traced back to carrying heavy bags to school, Dr. Peter Skew, vice-president of BackCare with special interest in musculoskeletal medicine; says:

Children’s skeletons are still developing, and having a heavy bag slung over one shoulder can exert unnatural force on the spine, muscles and attachments.

Bulging backpacks are a significant risk to children. Weight of the bag is not the only factor to consider: the type of bag your child is carrying can contribute to pain and strain. The good news is that there are some things we can do to prevent back pains and other problems due to carrying a heavy backpack; distributing the heavy load across the strong back and shoulder muscles is key. The risk, however, is overload, which can strain the back, neck or shoulders. The best load should be around 10 percent.

So, if you are a mom or dad reading this, here is what you should do:

Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 10 percent of his or her body weight. A heavier backpack will cause your child to stoop forward in an attempt to support the additional weight.