Back pain is a common complaint in most households these days amongst parents and kids alike. With adults, this pain is generally the result of working long hours at a desk, poor lifting etc. From a kids perspective, it generally results from wearing backpacks that are too high or too low. Since this is a growing concern throughout the world, here is a list of tips that can help you choose the right backpack for your little one so that they may not feel the weight of the world so soon on their shoulders!
- Purchase backpacks that are made of lighter materials like canvas instead of leather.
- Opt for a bag with two shoulder straps that are at least two inches wide and adequately padded with soft foam so that they do not strain the shoulders.
- It is an area of negligence in fashionable backpacks that the backs of these bags are left without padding. If there is no padding in the back of the bags, this can result in injury. For example, hardback book corners pressing into your child's back.
- The compartments in the bags must be specialised in such a way that the weight of the bag is evenly spread over the body and just does not get heavier on a shoulder or the back.
- It is excellent to have hip straps or a waist belt so that the weight of the bag is not restricted just to the shoulders, thus straining the spine. With a hip strap or waist belt, the weight gets distributed in the back and the pelvis and helps the child carry the bag with greater ease.
- Heavier equipment such as a laptop must be carried in a separate unit rather than in the backpack.
- Apart from the fact that the rightly designed backpack must be used, it is also necessary that the child loads the backpack in the right manner.
Is There Anything Else I Can Do?
You as a parent must always ask your child if they are feeling any pain in the shoulders and/or back. If the child does complain of pain do not make the mistake of ignoring it. The muscle knots can build up and cause greater damage to the spine in later years or permanent deformity to the body.
You may want to consider asking the teachers at your childs school to give options to reduce the weight of the backpack so that your child does not have to carry a huge load to school and back every day.
Also, why not encourage your child to take part in regular exercises that will help them release the strain that builds up every day on the back and shoulders. There are several exercises that a child can be taught to practice at home everyday to release this stress. In addition, it is important to note that because there is a strain build-up on the back muscles every day, there will be a constant tendency to lean forward while working on counter tops or at tables. Teach your child to always sit upright without leaning forward as that will aggravate the problem further.