Children now a days seem to be carrying more in their backpacks than ever before. Overloading and incorrectly carrying backpacks can cause a variety of problems. This can often causes kids to experience back pain due to pore posture. This results in distortion of the spine and putting it out of alignment. Some of the symptoms are muscle strain, headaches, neck, back and arm pain.
Back Safety Tips!
When shopping for backpacks look for lighter ones made from vinyl or canvas. Make sure that the straps are thick, padded and adjustable along with a hip/waist strap. The backpack should not be too tight around the arms/under the armpits, and that the size is proportionate to your child’s body.
When fully packed, backpacks should not weigh more than 5-15% of your child’s body weight (less percent the younger they are/more percent the older they are). The heaviest items in the bag should be the closest ones to the body. Make sure they are only packing what they need for the day.
When putting on a backpack, (you may need to help younger children) make sure the pack is on a flat surface at waist height. Make sure that when putting the bag on your child is placing on strap at a time on their back.
When carrying around the back pack the shoulder straps should fit comfortably without cutting into the shoulders. The back pack should fit snugly and not swing from side to side. You should be able to fit a hand between the backpack and you child’s back. If the bag has a waist strap it should be worn to provide stability and support.
Below are 10 healthy tips to keep in mind not only for your child but also for yourself in order to maintain a healthy back:
- Exercise on a daily basis!
- Drink plenty of water and eat healthy foods
- When sitting and standing, try to be as straight as possible…don’t lean too far forward, slouch or hunch your shoulders.
- Before and after sports, try to stretch as much as possible.
- Don’t over pack your backpack!
- After every hour of work, get up and stretch your arms and legs.
- Never cradle your phone between your shoulder and your ear.
- Try to sleep on your side or one you back instead of on your stomach.
- Get enough sleep on a proper pillow and mattress.
- Make sure you get you spine checked regularly.
To book your child or yourself for a spinal check up click here!
P.S. As mentioned earlier, let’s not forget about adult and their bags! Are you carrying a heavy briefcase and leaning towards one side? Should you ditch the formal look and use a backpack instead?
P.S.S. Both children and adults should partake in good posture exercise by standing up straight all the time. You should also try to limit the amount of time spent using technology especially cellphones. “Text-neck” is a condition that is rapidly growing in number in society. If you do spend a lot of time on your phone try holding it up to eye-level.