With school starting next weeks here’s some information about kids and backpacks:
Is your child’s backpack too heavy? Will they tell you if it is? Children have other stresses to worry about whilst attending school, make sure back pain isn’t one of them.
Have you every heard that backpacks can causes spinal deformities in kids?
Hopefully not as this is a myth!
Scoliosis is sometimes associated with heavy backpacks as it’s usually diagnosed around the same time kids start carrying heavier books for school. In reality, there is no correlation as there is no research to support this.
However, that’s not to say a heavy backpack can affect a child’s back. Muscles, ligaments, discs and joints can all be overloaded due to a prolonged external stress. In the long term, it could lead to postural changes due to muscle imbalances and leaning forward too much.
Will your kids let you know is their backpack is too heavy?
Maybe your child doesn’t realise that his pain is coming from his backpack. The pain may be mild to start with so they may not see the backpack as a concern. Research suggests that a child should only carry a backpack which weighs, at most, 10-20% of their body weight. See this as prehabilitation for your child and make sure they are not overloaded.
Should kids even wear backpacks?
Yes, our backs were made for movement and activity. Staying active and giving our backs light work is healthy.
The key to a healthy spine is to wears both straps, don’t buy a big backpack and observe your child throughout the term.