Children carry heavy load of backpack on their shoulders during school year. However, most parents and children are unaware of the potential injury caused by too-heavy packs.
While backpacks are considered the most efficient way to carry books and other items kids need for school, it's important they weigh less than 15 percent of a child's body weight. Children can experience back pain and soreness for carrying heavy bags. These problems can lead to more chronic problems that may require medical treatment.
Our orthopedic specialist in Fairfax, VA offers some advice to reduce the back and shoulder pain that as many as half of all school children experience each year.
PACK ONLY WHAT IS REALLY NEEDED – Though this step requires few practice and reminders, and this becomes especially important once your child reaches middle school. Keep a check that your child daily carries the books and other items as prescribed in the timetable. Students have multiple textbooks and will be expected to tote them to and from class on a daily basis.
LIMIT THE WEIGHT TO 15% OF BODY WEIGHT – Some kids decide to carry their entire curriculum books in the backpack. A child weighing 100 pounds should carry no more than 15 pounds. When you consider that the average book weighs 3-5 pounds, by the time your child has a few books, notebooks, and a water bottle, they’ve likely exceeded the safe zone. This is the reason why many schools maintain a daily timetable to reduce the number of books being carried to school each day.
DISTRIBUTE THE WEIGHT EVENLY – Encourage your child to wear both straps of the backpack across the shoulders as it will minimize stress on the spine and back muscles. If ever it happens that the weight of the backpack exceeds the 15% rule, it is advisable to remove few books from the backpack and carry those in your hands to help more evenly distribute the weight.
SELECT THE PROPER BACKPACK – You can enhance comfort and safety by purchasing a backpack that has multiple compartments so that the weight gets evenly distributed. Padded straps can also help prevent straps from cutting into shoulders. Newer backpacks with wheels are also an option, provided that the handle extends long enough to allow children to stand upright while pulling it. And at the same time, they should also be sturdy enough so that they do not topple over.
LIFT PROPERLY & MINIMIZE BACK INJURIES – Whenever you are picking up the backpack and you know that it has ample of weight, make sure to bend at the knees and then lift it onto your shoulders.
Pain and injuries caused by backpack can be avoided. Always encourage your child to pay attention to these issues and take care of them. The backpack is a school supply item that has an important role in your child’s physical health. If you need advice on backpack-related problems or looking for back injury treatment for your child, you can schedule appointment with one of the renowned orthopedic specialists in Fairfax, VA or your local area at HealthCare800.com. An orthopedic specialist is dedicated to the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic diseases, disorders and injuries. They treat children to help minimize back injury or strain so that they can stay focused on learning.