As a new term starts and we pack our children off to school perhaps it is time to think about something that many of us take for granted, school backpacks.
Almost every child carry some kind of bag to school. But can the bag that the child was wearing actually be bad for the child health?
Can the backpack that your child is wearing be the cause of shoulder, neck and back pain either now or in the future?
Survery research on shoulder, neck and back pain caused by backpacks
A recent study published in the journal Spine seems to confirm what physiotherapists and many parents have long suspected, that backpacks can cause shoulder, neck and back pain if they are too heavy or worn incorrectly.
The Spine study used a special MRI scanner to study 11-year-old children wearing backpacks of various weights up to 26lb.
Perhaps not surprisingly as the weight in the backpack was increased so did the amount of pain that the children reported feeling according to the study.
Backpack tips to avoid shoulder, neck and back pain problems
The most important tips for avoiding health problems when wearing a backpack is to keep the pack as light as possible.
Encourage children to only carry the books they actually need that day in their backpack to help prevent shoulder, neck and back pain.
Tip two is to tighten the backpack straps to keep the backpack close to the child’s body. This will help prevent bruising caused by the bag moving about.
Thirdly try to distribute the weight in the pack evenly and make use of sections and pockets.
Try to buy a backpack with padded shoulder straps that will help to prevent shoulder soreness.
I would suggest avoiding single strap sling style backpacks because this type of backpack puts all the weight on one shoulder.
Finally, a note for the ladies, you might benefit from reducing the weight in your shoulder bags too.