Although the summer weather may still be here – school days are upon us. Are now bored children have magically been reactivated to feeling that they did not have a full summer as the weight of their backpacks is upon them. Those once excited kids strain over bent shoulders with overly heavy school bags containing their books and folders. Now add the GPS of their smartphone screens guiding them aimlessly into their schools and we have a real recipe for generations of young adults to be experiencing back pain, neck pain, headaches and more.
According to figures from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 7,000 children attend the ER each year due to backpack-related injuries. Unfortunately, this is a trend that will continue as more schools remove lockers from their premises, and thus children are forced to carry around with them extra books and bags for the entire day.
Let’s Start Strong and Stay Strong
To help avoid developing this trend our team would like to help your children start strong and stay strong all year long. So please review to help make this year a healthy one!
Your Safety Checklist
* Let’s begin by checking the backpack safely list provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) below:
- Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Padded shoulder straps are imperative. Not only will they be more comfortable than non-padded straps, but they will also help prevent the straps from digging into your child’s shoulders.
- The shoulder straps of your child’s school bag should be adjustable so that the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. Shoulder straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignments in the back and neck pain.
- Tell your child to use both shoulder straps, not just one. A backpack slung over one shoulder disproportionately shifts all of the weight to one side, and can cause not only neck and muscle spasms but also a low back pain.
- Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. A backpack with individualized compartments will help you position the contents most effectively and ensure that your child’s sandwich isn’t flattened by a heavy textbook.
- Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. Make sure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.
- Most importantly lead by example and teach them the why and how of good posture. Make it fun and persevere!
Unsure? Come and get your Back To School Back Pack Check Up. Bring your child’s backpack into our office so we may help you properly fit the backpack and ensure that your children’s bodies are in balance physically and nutritionally to tackle all of the new excitement this school year!
We Are Here to Help!
Let’s Make This Year A Healthy One!
Our expert team is trained to diagnose and treat all ages. We are here to help if you or your children suffer from pain or discomfort from using a backpack, sports injuries, or other typical growing pains and conditions.
Treatment is individualized and geared to the age and condition of the patient. For better health, we always have on offer advice on specific exercises that can help you and your family develop stronger muscles, better nutrition, good posture, and optimum sleeping habits.
So let’s put good health on the books for this year! Call Today!
For Your Health,
Dr. Scott Van Dam