Parents, are you aware that overly stressing the back with a heavy backpack could cause back pain and injury in your child?
As your children head back to school, carrying backpacks filled with books and materials, following a few guidelines and using common sense can help avoid injury and pain.
- The weight of your child’s backpack should not exceed 10% of his/her weight.
- Habitually carrying backpacks over one shoulder will make muscles strain to compensate for the uneven weight. Always use both straps to ensure equal weight distribution.
- Straps should be adjusted snugly so the backpack doesn’t hang to low and affect the child’s center of gravity, causing them to hunch forward to compensate.
The back pain caused by back packs is short term (e.g. muscle strain) and usually alleviated with a short period of rest or reduced activity. Some symptoms could be headache, shoulder pain, lower back pain, and/or neck and arm pain. Be aware that any type of back pain that persists is uncommon and should be evaluated by a medical professional.