Backpacks are one of the most common items we think about when going back to school. However, if you aren’t using your backpack the right way or lugging around too much then it can lead to serious injuries.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 75% of children in the age range of 8 to 12 years were complaining of back pain. Back pain, especially in a child, can be detrimental to a developing spine.
KX talked to a nurse practitioner that says backpacks that aren’t worn correctly can even cause muscle and joint issues just from day to day use.
CHI St. Alexius Nurse Practitioner Brittany Kudrna, “It’s always a concern with any heavy load that is carried consistently. We wanna make sure we are talking more on the preventative aspect to avoid that in the future.
Roughly 60 percent of orthopedic doctors report they are treating children who go to school for back pain due to the weight of backpacks. And this can cause a number of problems
“Backaches or just general aches and pains, whether that is in the neck, shoulder, low back area which can have an effect on everything from headaches to lower body strains as well because your back is connected to all those parts as well,” Kudrna. “So mostly the pain but it can exacerbate if there is an underlying scoliosis or something else it could have an impact on that as well.”
So what are the do’s and don’ts of wearing a backpack?
- Brand doesn’t really matter but try and get thicker straps for better support.
- Make sure the backpack is no more than 4 inches wider or longer than your torso.
- Don’t let it sit too high or too low.
- Don’t go for the one strap look, always use both straps to even the weight on both sides.
- Make sure you use all the compartments for easy distribution.
- If there is a safety belt use it, and if not you can always tie the straps together.
Kudrna adds, “Try to keep the minimum load that you possibly can, so it depends on the situation, but if you have a locker that you can run to or from to split up that load and just keeping the bare minimum in your backpack. And again just utilizing your other resources.”
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