Summer break is over and children everywhere are seen walking to the bus stop with excited faces and heavy backpacks, but are those backpacks actually causing your child harm?
Back pain is one of the top three reasons for doctor visits in America, and many back problems begin in childhood. All those heavy books your kids carry around on their back can wreak havoc on their spine. It’s recommended that a child only carry about 10% of his or her body weight on their backs, or about 6 pounds for an average 8-year-old. Too often kids are cramming double that weight into their bags. The discs between the vertebrae are meant to be shock absorbers, but when a still-growing child's spine is compressed with a heavy backpack slung over one shoulder, it can cause shifting or damage in those vertebrae that could lead to severe back problems down the road. Here are some tips for helping reduce damage to your child's spine as they go back to school!
Choose a lightweight backpack with two sturdy, thick shoulder straps and to advise your child to wear both straps.
Remember a backpack should not weigh more than 10-20% of your child's body weight.
If your child plays sports, falls on the playground, or complains of any back pain, get them adjusted right away!
Check the bottom of your student's shoes occasionally, and schedule an appointment if you see an uneven wear pattern on the bottom.
Here at Pathway to Wellness, we wish those returning to school a successful, fabulous, HEALTHY school year!