First, let’s look at what researchers and scientists have revealed with regards to children and backpack safety:
- The National Safety Council (2018) concludes that backpacks that are too heavy can cause back and shoulder pain and poor posture.
- Backpack loads carried by schoolchildren should be limited to 10% body weight due to increased forward head posture and subjective pain complaints at 15% AND 20% body weight loads (Kistner, Fiebert, & Roach, 2012).
- Backpack loads are responsible for a significant amount of back pain in children, which in part may be due to changes in lumbar disc height or curvatures as noted on MRI studies (Neuschwander et al., 2009).
- Backpacks with lower load placement on the spine result in less postural adaptions for children including less trunk and forward lean, forward head posture and spinal lordosis (Brackley, Stevenson, & Selinger, 2009).
- When carrying a modified double back pack (weight in front and back), the forward head angle and forward head distance decreased when compared to carrying a single backpack. These findings indicate that modified backpacks minimize postural deviation (Kim et al. 2008).
Now that you are aware of the negative side effects wearing a backpack has on your child, let’s look at some solutions to prevent injuries and pain with regards to your child.
- Do not carry backpacks that are more than 10% of your body weight.
- Always wear backpacks with both shoulder straps over the shoulders and use the optional waist strap if it is available.
- Pack heavier items such as textbooks closer to your spine.
- Avoid bending forward to compensate for the weight of the backpack.
- Balance the weight distribution by carrying some textbooks or supplies in front of your body while wearing a backpack.
- While walking, keep your head up and pull your chin back so your ears are aligned over your shoulders.
For healthy lunch ideas for your school aged child, look to see what Hannah has come up with.
At Stanly Wellness Center, we are eager and ready to help you and your families achieve your best health possible. If you are looking for help with your health or you know of someone who is suffering with poor health, call the office of Stanly Wellness Center at 980-355-7600 and schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation with Dr. Patrick Ess to see how he can help. Dr. Ess will not waste your time or money. He will let you know if he can help you, and if he can’t, who in the community can.
Our office specializes in nutrition, detoxification and neurological correction. You can also refer to our website at www.AskDrPatrick.com for more information. We accept most major health insurances including BCBS, Aetna, Humana, UHC, Medicaid and Medicare.
Stanly Wellness Center is located right on Main St (24/27) in Locust and is situated across the street from the big blue Locust Monument building.