Today, many schools require the use of heavy textbooks. These items can quickly weigh down your child’s backpack, which can negatively impact their body after being worn throughout the day. Below, North Pole Chiropractic in North Pole, AK, shares some facts about backpacks and related back pain.
A Guide to Backpacks & Children’s Back Pain
What Are the Dangers of Carrying a Backpack?
Backpacks that weigh more than 10% of your child’s body weight are too heavy for their frame. The excess places pressure on your child’s back, neck, and shoulders. Chronic discomfort can result, making sitting in class a hassle and possibly limiting their ability to participate in sports activities. Back pain can even become a lifelong issue if it’s not addressed promptly. In fact, in the U.S. more than 5,000 emergency room visits per year are due to back pain—a condition that can often be treated through simple lifestyle changes.
How Can I Help My Child’s Back Pain?
There are several ways you can minimize damage caused by too-heavy packs. First, address the bag itself. Many kids don’t have their backpack straps set appropriately. Various adjustments may reduce the strain put on your child, such as ensuring the pack doesn’t hang over 4 inches below their waist. Proper distribution will alleviate any discomfort they’re experiencing.
Always select packs that have padded straps to protect the shoulders. Also, look for a bag that is no bigger than their torso—this is an effective way to limit how many books and other items they carry with them. For neck, shoulder, and back pain that persists, consider taking children to see a pediatric chiropractor. These professionals will assess the issue and provide solutions to minimize the pain and prevent further damage.
Back and neck pain that starts in childhood can carry over into adulthood and lead to a lower quality of life. Take backpack weight seriously so your kids understand the effects excessive weight can have on their health. For further information on how a chiropractor can help relieve discomfort, call North Pole Chiropractic at (907) 488-1885 or visit their website.