Because of the impact they can have on our overall health and well-being, taking care of our backs is very important. Adults are frequently prone to back pain due to their working lifestyle, but kids are also at risk, and the main culprit is their backpacks. Studies have shown that many children experience back pain due to carrying heavy backpacks to and from school.

Since injuries incurred at an early age can have long-term effects, it is crucial to do what we can to educate ourselves and take measures to avoid such injuries that could lead to surgery and long-term medical problems. There are various ways to improve the spinal health of your child, and they can even still carry their backpacks.

Here are a few tips…

When carrying their backpack, make sure that the weight is evenly distributed to both shoulders. This means wearing both straps, not just one. There are also some backpacks that have waist straps, which are great for keeping the weight of the backpack in place.

Do not let your child carry more than the limit for their body weight. As a general rule of thumb, 10% of your weight is the maximum load limit of what you can carry. So, when going to school, tell them to pack only what they need for the day.

Encourage your child to get involved in physical activity. If your child is not into sports, encourage them to do a bit of walking, cycling, or swimming at least two or three times a week. This will strengthen their body for carrying heavier loads and will, therefore, make them less prone to injuries.

Make sure that they have an ergonomic study table and chair. Attach a back rest to their chair so they can feel relaxed while studying. A footrest is also helpful, especially for higher chairs and desks.

Let your child take a break from school and doing homework. Even if they watch TV after school or play on their computer, it’s important to have a short break once in a while to alleviate lower back tension and stress that accumulate during prolonged sitting.

Encourage your kids to use their school lockers if they have them. When they arrive at school, tell them to deposit books that will be used later in the day, so they can reduce the load of their backpack.

If your child does develop back pain or a spinal condition, consult a chiropractor as soon as possible.

-Dr Sid
Esprit Wellness
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