August 4, 2016
School will be starting soon, and that means back-to-school shopping. One of the most important items on the list is the backpack, and purchasing the proper backpack is very important. Avoiding a heavy backpack can go a long way in preventing serious health problems.
A heavy backpack can lead to long-term problems
It is a good idea to keep these Backpack Safety Tips in mind as you consider a backpack for your child, regardless of his or her age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child’s backpack should not exceed 10-15% of your child’s body weight. Both straps, preferably padded, should always be worn and precautions should be taken to avoid a heavy backpack.
Prolonged use of a heavy backpack can lead to many long-term heavy risks, including:
• Pain caused by curvature of the spine, often due to improperly wearing a backpack over just one shoulder
• Poor posture can result from the weight of a heavy backpack pulling your child forward, and this can lead to compression of the spine
• Pain and tingling in arms, neck, hands and legs caused by pressure from straps on the blood vessels and nerves in the neck and shoulders
• Strain or damage to muscles in the back and stomach, and pain in the upper and lower back due to improper use
Before you purchase a new backpack this year, review these Backpack Safety Tips, and discuss them with your child. Proper padding and size should be a higher priority than the color and design of the backpack. The school year comes with enough stressors, your child’s backpack doesn’t need to be one of them!
The Makovicka Difference
We are leaders in our profession, locally owned and operated by physical therapists who forge relationships with patients, and advocate for their care. All of our clinics have board-certified specialists on staff, meaning you get the highest level of care to maximize your recovery, and get you back to your game. We will listen, evaluate your symptoms, and create a personalized physical therapy program to meet your needs and improve your function, strength, and mobility.