By Jeff Sheppard 29 Aug 2019 no comment 958 Views

Children, teenagers and college and university students are all off to class with their brand-new backpacks. But are they wearing and using them correctly, or are their backpacks placing undue strain on growing bones and muscles?

Backpacks are a common cause of childhood injuries

Packs that are worn incorrectly and packs that are too heavy are the two greatest sources of injury.

Sometimes these injuries take the form of sharp, sudden pain.  But be aware that stresses can also accumulate and compound over time.  In the second case, the child will not remember when the problem started, but it will have an ongoing effect on their posture and comfort.  Don’t dismiss childhood aches as “growing pains.”  Children need regular spinal maintenance care just as adults do.

When shopping for a new backpack, choose a backpack with wide shoulder straps. Adjust the backpack so that it fits snugly to the body and doesn’t dangle from one side.  Backpacks come with two straps for a very good reason!   Slinging the pack on one side can cause joint and muscle strain in the lower back and neck.  Teach your children to wear their backpacks correctly.

Backpacks should not weigh more than 15% of a child’s body weight. Any heavier, and their natural inclination will be to lean forward to carry the burden on their back and shoulders, instead of having it evenly distributed.  Talk to your child about how to pack their backpacks.  Some items (like homework) need to be carried.  Therefore, if the pack is getting heavy, other items (like library books and toys) might need to spend the day at home.

Good posture begins at home! It’s important to start good habits young to avoid problems as your children age. And it’s not true that chiropractic care is just for adults. Children have spines too! Dr Sheppard can give safe, effective care to people of all ages.

To make an appointment for you or your child, please give Sheppard Chiropractic Centre a call at 635-8182 or 847-7172.

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