With the new school year underway, it's time to start worrying about back pain. You might not realize this, but kids have a lot of weight on their shoulders during the school year. It comes in the form of the books and supplies that they carry around in their backpacks. If they're not careful, the weight they carry on their shoulders can translate into back pain. Unfortunately, back pain can lead to absences, loss of concentration, and even injuries. Luckily, there are some steps your kids can take to help reduce the pain, and prevent injuries.
Use Both Straps
If your kids are in the habit of tossing their backpacks over one shoulder when carrying them, they need to stop doing that. Carrying heavy backpacks on one shoulder causes an uneven distribution of weight, and can lead to increased muscle injuries and pain. Make sure your kids know to always wear their backpacks with both shoulder straps securely in place.
Pack it Properly
When it comes to filling a backpack, there's a right way – and a wrong way – to do it. The right way is to place heavier objects on the bottom of the backpack. Books should be laid flat, so that everything else can rest on top of them. You want the heavier objects, such as books, on the bottom so that the weight can be distributed across the lower back, instead of across the upper back and shoulders.
Watch the Leaning
Your kids probably have a lot of supplies that they're required to carry to and from school. However, if the backpacks are too heavy, they're going to cause pain, and injuries to your kids backs and shoulders. Kids don't always know when their backpacks are too heavy, and even if they do know it's too heavy, they might not want to say anything. One way to tell if your kids backpacks are too heavy is to watch the way they walk. If your kids are leaning forward when they walk, their backpacks are too heavy.
Go with Wheels
If you're noticing that your kids are leaning forward when they walk, or they're complaining about back pain when they wear their backpacks, it's time to switch to wheels. Backpacks that have wheels will allow your kids to carry the supplies they need, without having the weight on their backs and shoulders.
If your kids backpacks are causing them pain, use the tips provided here to help alleviate the discomfort, and prevent back injuries. If your kids continue to experience back pain, you should consult their physician as soon as possible to get help with back pain relief.