A new year begins and so does a new school year. As our children start to get ready for the school year ahead, we need to assess their spinal health. And when I think of spinal health, the most important item that has the most impact on their spinal health is the school bag. According to an international study, daily backpack carrying has been shown to be the most frequent cause of discomfort for school children. School backpacks were felt to be heavy by 79.1% of children, caused them fatigue in 65.7% and caused back pain in 46.1%.
School can be a challenging time for children, so ensuing they are as comfortable as possible will help them develop physically and mentally to their full potential.
Therefore special care should be taken when packing your child’s school bag to avoid any long-standing damage being done to their spine.
Pack it light
1. Backpacks shouldn’t exceed 10% of a child’s weight
2. Weight should be evenly distributed
3. Pack the heaviest items closest to the body
4. Pack odd-shaped items on the outside
5. Only carry items that are needed
Wear it right
1. Always wear both shoulder straps
2. Adjust the straps so the pack fits snugly
3. Use the waist straps
When putting on your backpack
1. Squat or kneel to pick up the bag
2. Avoid twisting or bending
3. Lift with the legs
4. Place the bag on a waist-high surface to slip it on.
Many school bags are made with fashion and style in mind before safety. An ill-fitted or overweight school back can not only cause long term problems but can result in short term pain and discomfort and in some cases serious postural problems.
At Woombye Chiropractic we can advise you on which types of bags to avoid, how to set up a school bag, how it should be carried by your child, and how much weight is too much.