Is Your Child’s School Bag Fitted Correctly?
Avoid Spinal Damage In Your Kids with a FREE CHECK.
With the School Year Upon Us It Is Time To Consider Your Child’s Spinal Health.
A recent study of 340 school children conducted by the by the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia found that 90 per cent of school children have bad posture when carrying their bags and could experience spinal damage as a result. Damage could be prevented by their backpack’s ergonomic features, however the study revealed that 75 per cent of students are not using those features.
When you take into consideration the textbooks, extra clothes, lunch and other supplies it may come as no surprise that most school bags are overloaded. According to an international study 79.1 percent of children felt that their school bags were too heavy and 46.1 per cent said that it caused them back pain.
A school bag that is not fitted or worn correctly is quite likely to cause pain in your child. Although, they may not articulate it to you. The may just develop a defensive or irritated behaviour about going to school. It is hard to tell.
Incorrectly fitted bags can cause your child to develop spinal misalignments that will affect them as they enter adulthood. School can be a challenging time for children, so ensuring they are as comfortable as possible is vital for both their physical and mental development.
Complimentary Digitised Postural Assessment
Heavy weights carried in backpacks can cause muscle strain, irritation, negative postural changes and injury to kids. After being in practice for 25 years, I have lost count of the huge number of patients who genuinely believe their spinal problems started carrying their school bag.
When lifting something heavy, we tend to translate away from the load. With kids and heavy back packs it can manifest as shocking forward head posture.
Carrying a heavily loaded and ill fitting back pack for a decade or more is pretty much guaranteed to causes issues later in life. Many of the current bags children use may be fashionable, but unless they allow for even distribution across the back, they can cause discomfort.
Book Your Consultation Today – Offer Ends in Mid March
The Spinal Centre will be conducting FREE Postural Assessments for children to check their BackPack until the end of March. Dr. Hooper and Dr. Ruby will be conducting the assessments with the assistance of Av and Nadia. With the help of new technology, they will be able to visually show you and your child the way the child is standing when they have their bags on their back.
Backpack checks allow us to check if the weight is evenly distributed across the back and that the bag straps are adjusted to the appropriate height. We also gave tips about how to pack their bags to ensure they do not damage their spine.
Tips for Carrying Heavy Backpacks
In addition to this information, here are some useful tips for carrying heavy school bags:
- Check the weight of your child’s Backpack, ideally it should not be more than 10 per cent of the child’s weight.
- Make sure the Backpack is sturdy and appropriately sized – no wider than the student’s chest.
- Put comfort and fit at the top of the priority list, rather than good looks.
- Choose a Backpack with broad, padded shoulder straps.
- Use both shoulder straps – never sling the pack over one shoulder.
- Use the waist straps attached – they are there for good reason.
- Don’t wear the Backpack any lower than the hollow of the lower back.
- Don’t overload the Backpack – use school lockers and plan homework well in advance.
- Place all heavy items at the base of the pack, close to the spine, for a better distribution of the weight.
- Lift the backpack by using the leg muscles and keeping it close to the body not by bending over with arms extended.
The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia together with Spartan School Supplies and Macquarie University (NSW), joined forces to research and develop the ‘Chiropak’. This durable, functional and comfortable backpack is proven to reduce the incidence and severity of neck and back pain associated with the carriage of heavy loads. Find out more about the Chiropak HERE.
Australian Chiropractors Association. (2019). https://chiropractors.asn.au/resources/health-education/back-pack-tips
Dolecki Chiropractic Clinic. (2019). Backpacks and Back Pain in Teens and Kids. Retrieved from https://www.orionchiropractor.com/index.php?p=514166
Dolecki Chiropractic Clinic. (2019). Back to School doesn’t have to be a Pain in the Neck. Retrieved from https://www.orionchiropractor.com/index.php?p=514168
Posture Co. (2017, August 7). Can Backpacks Cause Spinal Misalignments in Kids? Retrieved from https://www.postureanalysis.com/backpacks-cause-misalignments-kids/
Mwaka ES, Munabi IG, Buwembo W, Kukkiriza J, Ochieng J. Musculoskeletal pain and school bag use: a cross-sectional study among Ugandan pupils. BMC Res Notes. 2014 Apr 9;7:222. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-222.
If you like this article be sure to visit the Spinal Centre website at www.thespinalcentre.com.au and view more content by Dr. Hooper and the Spinal Rehabilitation Team.
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