According to the American Chiropractic Association, nearly 40% of the children being seen by chiropractors are complaining of lower back pain.
Recent studies have shown that improper backpack use attributes to childhood and adolescent back, neck, and shoulder pain as well as altered posture and spinal growth and development. Some sources suggest that these backpack-type injuries have increased nearly 330% since 1996.
As the leading authorities on spinal health, growth, and development, chiropractors at the local, state and national level are launching widespread awareness and safety campaigns based on the proper use of backpacks among school age children. These programs are designed to properly educate children and parents as to the proper way to use these devices.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) offers the following tips to help prevent the needless pain that backpack misuse could cause the children in your household:
- The loaded backpack should weigh no more than 10% of the child’s weight
- The backpack should never hang more than 4 inches below the child’s waistline
- Compartments in the backpack keep items in their place
- Keep pointy objects away from the child’s back
- Bigger is not better-it only encourages overloading
- Use both straps at all times
- Wide, padded straps are better
- Straps should be adjustable to fit the child’s body
- Observe the child’s posture. Bending forward means the backpack is too heavy
- If the child complains of back pain, see a chiropractor
When backpacks are used correctly many of these troubling concerns are avoided. However, misuse can cause permanent and irreversible damage to young, developing spines. Please take precautions to make sure your child doesn’t suffer needlessly.
The bottom line is if in doubt, see a chiropractor. They are the experts on back pain.
Source: (American Chiropractic Association)