Back Injuries Can Be Due to Back Packs
Back packs, although necessary for kids and college students, may cause a significant amount of damage to your spine, and your kid's spine if used improperly. Textbooks are heavier than they may appear on the table, and overloading a back pack with too much weight may put your child's back at risk for episodes of back pain, and long term damage to the spine. Fortunately, by following a few easy guidelines and a little common sense you can send your kids off to school with the peace of mind that at least their back pack is not causing problems.
The first tip is to make sure the back pack you select is designed with the spine in mind. Backpacks with wheels are always a good bet. Also, when shopping look for one that has padded adjustable shoulder straps, and an adjustable belt strap. The belt, waist, or hip strap helps to redistribute some of the load away from the back making it easier to carry. Furthermore, keep in mind the material of the backpack. You will want to choose one that is made from lightweight material, because the less weight that your child is lugging around the better. Also, limiting your child's load to 5-10% of their body weight is a great precaution to take.
Another great way to ensure that your kid's spine is not being harmed by their backpack is to teach your child how to properly wear and load their backpack. Heaviest objects should go on the bottom, and compartments should be packed with the lighter stuff. You should also take care to make sure that the stuff in the compartments is evenly distributed by weight.
Advocate to your children to only carry the necessary books with them, make frequent trips to their locker if possible, and to immediately remove and reduce the load of their back pack if it starts causing them pain.
Lastly, get involved, attend PTA meetings, and bring the issue of backpacks safety up. It is important that kids have the ability to get to their lockers and unload unnecessary books and materials as often as possible.
There are more tips on the way!