Every year in August, as children prepare to return to school, we are reminded of the importance of choosing and wearing a proper backpack. Believe it or not, backpacks can have an important health impact on the growing and developing bodies of children. More so, a heavy or poorly fitted backpack can affect a child’s musculoskeletal (MSK) health—both today and in the future. It’s time to review a few guiding principles to prepare your child for school, keeping their MSK health in mind.
It is not uncommon to see children trotting along to school, back hunched forward to balance a heavy or over-sized bag. Unfortunately, carrying such heavy loads long-term can cause problems to a child’s MSK system, and result in back pain—among other things. For example, children may condition their bodies to lean forward, arch their backs, and lean to one side. Creep can settle in the spine, and muscle can become fatigued and strained. This type of physical stress can also alter the posture and gait of children.
So how can these health consequences be prevented? It’s simple—help your child choose the correct backpack which will fit their body and is adjustable as they grow. Follow these tips:
For more information on choosing the correct backpack, speak to your chiropractor.
Canadian Chiropractic Association
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