Preserve Spine Health...

In School-Aged Children

Heavy backpacks put our children at more risk than you may have realized...

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Page Title Preserving spine health in children


Have you ever considered how your child’s heavy backpack affects their health and development?

Despite all of the technology that children have access to today, the vast majority of our students still carry books, notebooks and other supplies in a shoulder strap backpack...

It is important for parents to take a moment and consider how carrying around this excess weight can be a problem and health danger.

Children with overly heavy backpacks might complain of back pain, neck trouble or headaches, and might even be doing long-term damage to their back.

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Pain and health issues caused by heavy backpacks are a result of the excess weight and undue stress that is directly placed on the intervertebral discs...

It is also important to consider that heavy backpacks can impact the health of joints.

Excess backpack weight can cause issues with a child’s shoulders and hips as well. Further, balance can be impaired.

Since throwing out the backpack altogether isn’t practical, here are a few tips parents can use to minimize health dangers and risks due to heavy backpacks...

  Don’t overload the backpack. A good rule of thumb is 15 percent of the child’s body weight. For a 50 pound child, this would equate to 7-8 pounds.
  Parents should encourage children to use BOTH shoulder straps for proper weight distribution. This will help to avoid bending the spine and shoulders at uneven angles.
  Keep it light! Check your child’s backpack each week to ensure that unnecessary materials aren’t adding weight.

  Despite following all rules of thumb, some children may still experience pain and health issues. In these situations, consider seeking school approval for your child to use a rolling backpack.
  Consider that keeping your child active will help to build muscle mass, which supports the spine.


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