School is just out for most Filipino students and just a few months away for International students here in the Philippines. During the hot summer months families can look into purchasing better school bags for the upcoming school year.
I have an online article on Back Pack Safety worth reading. You can download your own copy HERE but in this blog I will give a quick summary. The information is adopted from the American and California Chiropractic Associations.
The concern really comes rom the parents who see worsening posture with their children and worry if the heavy school bags contribute to that. In short, Yes, but with proper back pack section that can be minimized.
A study conducted in Italy found that the average child carries a backpack that would be the equivalent of a 39-pound burden for a 176-pound man, or a 29 pound load for a 132-pound woman. Of those children carrying heavy backpacks to school, 60 percent had experienced back pain as a result.
What Can You Do?
- Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 10 to 15 percent of his or her body weight. This prevents your child from bend forward to manage the weight.
- The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline to avoid your child from leaning forward when walking.
- A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively.
- Bigger is not necessarily better. The more room in a backpack, the more your child will carry-and the heavier the backpack will be. Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.
- Wide, padded straps are very important to reduce straps from digging into your child’s shoulders.
- The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body.
- If the backpack is still too heavy, talk to your child’s teacher. Ask if your child could leave the heaviest books at school, and bring home only lighter hand-out materials or workbooks.
Chiropractic Care Can Help…
If you or your child experiences any pain or discomfort resulting from backpack use, call your doctor of chiropractic. Doctors of chiropractic are trained and registered to diagnose and treat patients of all ages and will use a gentler type of treatment for children. In addition, doctors of chiropractic can also prescribe exercises designed to help children develop strong postural muscles, along with instruction in good nutrition, posture and sleeping habits.
Yours in Health,