In part I we discussed kids wearing heavy backpacks (link to that article) and the concerns healthcare providers raise about possible long term effects of misuse of backpacks by children. In part II we discuss warning signs of improper backpack use and recommendations for proper use to avoid aches and pains and future problems.
Warning Signs of Improper Backpack Use
heavy backpack causes painIf your child experiences any of these common side effects of improper backpack use, it may signal time to lighten the load or change your child’s backpack.
– Pain in the back, neck, shoulders, or knees
– Red marks on the shoulders from backpack straps
– Tingling or numbness in the arms
– Difficulty getting the backpack on or off
– Forward posture when wearing the backpack
– Poor posture when not wearing the backpack
Recommendations for Choosing the Right Backpack and Using it Correctly
Experts recommend that you choose a backpack that:
– is the right size for your child. The backpack should fit between the top or your child’s shoulders and lower back.
– has wide, padded shoulder straps. Straps help distribute the weight of the backpack more broadly across the shoulders and chest.
– has adjustable shoulder straps. This ensures the backpack can be worn snugly against the child’s body. There should not be a gap between the backpack and your child’s body.
– is made of lightweight materials.
– has chest straps and a hip belt (especially for older students). Wearing these straps helps to distribute the weight of heavy textbooks across the whole body.
– has smaller compartments. This helps to distribute the weight inside the backpack.
Once you have chosen the right backpack for your child, make sure your child wears it properly by following these five guidelines:
1. The backpack should be worn with straps tight on both shoulders so that the bag stays close to the body.
2. Ensure the bag does not hang more than two inches below the waistline.
3. Monitor the weight of the backpack so it doesn’t get too heavy.
4. Encourage your child to only carry necessary items in the backpack.
5. If necessary, ask the child’s teacher for an extra copies of heavy textbooks to be kept at home.
Preventing and Alleviating Childhood Aches and Pains
Kids chiropractic adjustmentGentle chiropractic care by Drs. Quintin and Katie Sleigh is a very effective and safe way to get rid of your child’s backpack related pain. These Arlington Heights, IL chiropractors are specialists in spinal health and nerve system function. When the nerve system is interfered with by problems in the spine from improper backpack wearing, common aches and pains result. If your child is experiencing back and neck pain or headaches, Drs. Quintin and Katie Sleigh encourage you to get checked. Chiropractors are the only doctors who specialize in relieving stress in the spine and nerve system through chiropractic adjustments. In addition, as pediatric chiropractors, Sleigh Family Chiropractic provides individualized advice about posture, stretches, and exercises.
Photo Credit smmhc.blogspot.com, squidoo.com, philippinereporter.com, toyourhealth.com