Did You Know…Overweight Backpacks

Did you know overweight backpacks now may create back problems later?

A 2010 study from the University of California, San Diego, concludes, “backpack loads are responsible for a significant amount of back pain in children.” The same study says a full third of kids aged 11 to 14 report back pain. Other research from 2011 came to a similar conclusion.

“Kids are saying ‘My back hurts, my neck and my shoulders hurt,’” states Dr. Karen Jacobs, a clinical professor at Boston University and spokesperson for the American Occupational Therapy Association. “A heavy backpack can also contribute to headaches and problems concentrating at school.”

Like the frame of a house, the spine is what keeps your child’s body sturdy and upright. Put too much weight on this frame while a young body is still developing, and it could change a kid’s posture, compress his spine, and impair growth, says Rob Danoff, a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and a certified family physician with Philadelphia’s Aria Health System. “It also might contribute to back problems or injuries when your child’s older,” Danoff says.

How heavy is too heavy? “As a general rule, research shows the backpack should be no more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight to avoid pain or potential injury,” Jacobs says. “We like to err on the side of caution and recommend 10 percent.” Danoff recommends no more than 15% which is the usual consensus.

Ask your Family Wellness Chiropractor for recommendations on how to lighten your child’s load and be aware that laptops, phone chargers, tablets and e-readers are recent developments adding to this problem.

For more information visit time.com/4017521/your-kids-enormous-backpack/

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