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Protecting Spines BACKPACK SAFETY

Wearing an improper backpack can set the stage for physical problems later in life

The majority of people in the United States suffer from lower back pain, but headaches and neck pain are swiftly gaining ground to become the second most frequent health complaint. Backpacks that are much too heavy and imbalanced for weeks and months during the school year, as well as slouched posture with a forward head from hours of sitting bent over digital gadgets on a regular basis throughout the year, are often the cause of poor posture in later life. In many situations, the problem begins in infancy. The topic of today's discussion is going to be the backpacks.

SELECTING A BACKPACK

The first thing that has to be done is to get a backpack for a child that is going to be supportive and won't create any unneeded stress on any part of their body. This is the most important thing that needs to be done. You should opt for backpacks that have a lot of individual compartments since this will assist you in more effectively balancing the weight of the bag. You should also be on the lookout for traits such as cushioned shoulder straps that have a width of at least two inches and a strap that wraps around the waist while you are making your purchase.

PACKING THE BACKPACK

When packing the child's backpack, make sure that the weight is evenly distributed over all of the straps, and keep the total weight of the backpack to no more than 15 percent of the child's entire bodyweight. If it is too heavy, the newborn may tilt their head ever-so-slightly forward in an effort to relieve some of the pressure that is being placed on their shoulders to support the weight of the object. The items that are the heaviest in the backpack should be placed closest to the body, and if an item isn't vital for your child to have that day at school, you should leave it out of the bag completely. The items that are the heaviest in the backpack should be placed closest to the body.

WEARING THE BACKPACK

When a child is wearing a backpack the shoulder straps should be adjusted so that the pack is close to the body. This will distribute the weight of the pack evenly over the spine and prevent misalignment. It's important that kids use both straps on the backpack, so the weight distribution remains equal. It is common for kids to just sling one strap over their shoulder, but that can create a lot of extra stress on their bodies. You should also show your child how to bend at the knees to pick up the backpack and instruct him not to twist or bend at the waist while wearing it.

POTENTIAL ISSUES

For some reason, we don't seem to think that children are at risk for the same types of physical issues as adults when it comes to wearing heavy backpacks. However, regular use of a heavy backpack can result in:

  • Back and shoulder pain

  • Numbness and tingling in the arms

  • Poor posture

  • Reduced blood flow

  • Headache and neck pain

  • Distorted natural spine curvature

  • Muscle strain caused by overcompensation

Wearing an improper backpack sets the stage for a host of physical problems later in life. If you're not sure how to proceed or your child is already showing some of the above symptoms contact our team at Active Chiropractic Meridian today.

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