Today’s world is full of competition, and this has lead to growth in education programs which demands enrolment of children at a very young age. Nowadays, the children at a very young age have a huge syllabus, and due to this, they have a heavy backpack. The backpacks are filled with books and study material.
These heavy backpacks stress the backs of children and give them pain. Backpacks help in carrying some books and other study material, and they distribute the weight evenly on the whole back, which doesn’t lead to any adverse effects, but sometimes due to overloading of backpacks, it causes stress on the neck, shoulder, and back. One of the most common back pain causes in children is overloading. The back will compensate for any load applied to it for an extended period. An overload backpack can:
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- Twist the natural curves in the middle and lower backs, causing muscle strain and irritation to the spine, rib cage, shoulder etc. due to uneven distribution of weight.
- Lead to rounding of the shoulders.
- Reduces the balance, which leads to leaning forward of the person making it easier to fall.
Not carrying the backpacks properly result in uneven distribution of weight and causes many problems sometimes lead to deformity in spine joints. Nowadays children carry backpacks on one shoulder this leads to stressing of the middle back, ribs, and lower back. This type of imbalance leads to muscle strain, muscle spasm, and back pain in the short-term. Such type of back problems will increase in later life if not corrected. These backpack pains can be permanent if does not cure at the proper time.
Methods to prevent backpack pain of kids
There are many studies which have introduced some guidelines to reduce the pain of kids.
- Lightweight material
- Two padded, wide, adjustable shoulder straps on the backpack
- Padded back
- Individualized compartments
- Hip strip, waist belt, or frame to redistribute the weight of the backpack from the shoulders and back to the pelvis
- Wheels for pulling the backpack rather than carrying them on the shoulders.
- Teach your child how to carry backpacks and load the back to avoid back pain.
- Always use both shoulder straps and wear the backpack on the back rather than over one shoulder
- Keep the heaviest thing first in the backpack so they are carried lower and closest to the body
- Fill the compartments so that load is evenly distributed throughout the back and items should be packed in such a way that they do not move from their positions
- Keep an eye on the child’s backpack and listen to them if they complain about anything such as.
- If the child complains of discomfort, reduce the weight in the backpack immediately
- Coach your child to carry only the necessary books and other study materials.
- Train the child to clean out the backpack at least once a week.
There are some more methods to avoid the backpack pain in children
- Ask them to exercise regularly. Consult your health care physician to suggest back pain exercise for your child.
- Carrying the backpack properly
- There are various types of backpacks which do not need them to carry on shoulders such as saddlebags, roller bags, molded backpacks
- Packing only those books which are required to study on that day
- Ask them to sit in a straight position while studying.
- Consulting the physician if the child complains of any back problems.Your physician will suggest back pain treatment that best suits to your kid. Beware of over the counter back pain relief medications as these can worsen the pain.
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The weight of backpacks is tough to be reduced as the syllabus is constantly increasing so the study material also, it is the duty of the parents to take proper precautions to avoid any discomfort to their children. Always consult the physicians for any discomfort or backpack pain.