Is it just me?
Or do you see?
Children with backpacks to their knees.
This is worse that just "not a breeze."
It's damaging to our children, who should not complain of pain.
The data are in to show that heavy backpacks on are children are more that just silly show. The heavy backpacks to their knees also can damage the spine. So listen to your children if they complain about neck or spine pain. We don't want them growing up to be chronic back pain patients.
And as an aside, please don't just chide you child for complaining about pain. Many, many pains are not "just growing pains." They can be harbingers of badness that remains into the adult years. Or, bone pain can also be a sign of something worse that needs to be seen by 2nd Opinion doctors. And third. And fourth. Because I want you to listen to your child's complaints.
Abnormal posture can commonly be seen. Seriously. How do we get used to seeing our children like this (See Image 1)?
Problems with a Backpack
- Not ergonomic: misshaped and does not conform to the human body
- Improper padding: the shoulder straps are a huge culprit
- Weight shifting: lunch bags are put under pressure; so is the spine skeleton and muscles
- No adherence to weight limits: WoW. We need to know a bag's weight limit
- Improperly worn: WoW Again. I didn't know there was a 'right' way to wear one
- Spinal disc abnormalities: decreased disc height, disc compression
- Spinal bone abnormalities: left or right abnormal spine curvature can lead to adult spine disc herniation and a surgical emergency due to decreased nerve function (See Image 2)
- Medical Costs: 5,000 Emergency Room visits for school backpacks / year
- Misinformation: the source of the medical information needs to have no conflict of interest for interventional procedures (that is, a surgical article can't advise surgery)
- Poor posture: hump-back decreases the upper thoracic space to perfuse the heart and lungs (See Image 3)
- Increase Awareness: it's not just a funny-looking picture
- Prevention: don't our children deserve a look at the best prevention?
- A Pain Clinic: Specialists with post-doctoral training study extra long to treat pain
- Treatment: pediatrics, Pain Clinic, orthopedics, physiology, physical therapy, kinesiology
- More Treatment: sports medicine, neurology, traumatology, neurosurgery and more
- Hold that thought on Pain Clinic for adults - important information below
- I think we should buy a school backpack as if our child is going camping
- Consider to include a small Emergency Kit of Contact Information, bandaids, water
- Go for a backpack that is well-made
- I think a backpack could be considered camping or sports activity equipment
- Lightweight, good padding especially on the shoulders and lower back
- Thick shoulder straps that don't tug on the clothes
- Small compartments for separate items: distributes the weight
- Compartments: allow for selection of items without digging or contortion
- Hip strap: braces the pelvis and brings great stabilization to the spine
- Never share a backpack with another child -you never know if there's lice
- Wheels: now why didn't we think of that? Big wheels that go over bumps in the cement
- Don't let the backpack go down to the buttocks
- Help your child clean out her backpack each day, and each weekend, too
- Check the manufacturer for regular cleaning. Don't want ticks hitching a ride
- As with all prevention of low back pain, lift from the knees -keep back straight- not bent over
"For optimal spinal health, the American Chiropractic Association recommends a backpack that is 5-10% of your child’s weight. The weight of a backpack should not exceed 15% of the child’s body weight."