Heavy school bags: Risking the child’s back

Your children can not learn effectively or enjoy their time when they have back pain. They are often sent to school with heavy backpacks filled with books, copybooks, lunch boxes, pencil cases, colors, water bottles… etc. Take a moment and try lifting you child’s bag; isn’t it terribly heavy even for you?

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Heavy backpacks are responsible for a significant amount of back pain in children. The heavy weight causes compression of the discs that act as a cushion between the bones of the spine and is associated with increased curvature of the lower spine according to one study.

So how can you send your children to school ready for success and not back pain? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following:
– Pack light. A child’s backpack should not weigh more than 10 to 20 % of a child’s weight. Make sure your child’s teachers are aware of the risks of overpacking.
–  Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.
– Instruct your children to use both shoulder straps, and not only one to avoid straining muscles.
– Buy a rolling schoolbag (school bag with wheels). However, remember they still have to be lifted up as children walk up and down stairs.

Start applying the recommendations now, and don’t wait until your child complains of back pain.

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Have your child’s back.

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