Important Backpack Safety Tips to Follow This School Year

September 23, 2014

Children that carry heavy backpacks on a daily basis are more susceptible to injury than kids that do not. The American Occupational Therapy Association has revealed that carrying a backpack that weighs more than 15 percent of your child’s body weight can be dangerous to their health, even if the weight is well-distributed.

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Here are six of the most common injuries caused by improper backpack use:

Spinal Curvature – Carrying a heavy load on one shoulder can cause your child to lean over to one side to bear the weight. This may cause a curvature of the spine and future pain.

Spinal Compression – Arching their backs or bending forward at the hips to accommodate a heavy backpack can cause compression in the spine.

Neck and Shoulder Injury – Heavy pressure against the nerves and blood vessels in the neck and shoulders can cause pain, a tingling sensation and numbness.

Strained Muscles – Damage to the muscles in the back or stomach may occur if the backpack is not fitted properly or the load is imbalanced.

Chronic Pain – Poor posture and back pain from heavy backpacks can lead to chronic pain in the back, neck and shoulders.

Accidents – Falling backpacks can injure children. Since your child’s movement is likely to be altered by the weight, they may be more likely to trip and fall.

If you notice your child’s posture has changed, or if they experience pain, you should have them seen by a doctor of chiropractic. The chiropractor will perform an analysis to determine the cause of your child’s discomfort and use targeted adjustments to relieve any nerve interference. They may also provide you with extra information to prevent further injury or discomfort.

Although we cannot avoid the use of backpacks, there are some steps you can take to limit your child’s chance of injury or pain.

  • Make sure the backpack is properly sized for your child.
  • Look for padded, wide shoulder straps.
  • Does the backpack have several compartments to distribute the weight throughout?

Chiropractic Lifecare of America believes that if you have spinal nerve interference, you’re better off living without nerve interference. Call 800.775.7900, or contact us to learn how we can save you up to 50 percent on affordable chiropractic care.

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