Backpack Tips to Protect the Future Health of Your Child’s Back
Pictured here: Dr. Keith Johnson of Parker University fits Flower Mound students with backpacks
With tax-free weekend just around the corner (Aug. 19-21), parents are focusing on checklists filled with school clothes and supplies. But, with the rush and crowds associated with this annual weekend, many parents may forget to check on a vital safety issue “ the heavy toll backpacks make on their children's backs.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission
, 7,417 visits to the emergency room each year are directly attributed to backpack usage. Half of those are children ages 2 to 18, so the number of children seeking medical treatment from general practitioners and other specialists is likely to be even higher.
Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, president of Dallas-based wellness institution and school of chiropractic Parker University, says what's worse is that these numbers only speak to a small part of the overall problem.
The reality is that school-aged children misusing their backpacks could permanently affect their future back health, Mancini said. We are always concerned about the weight and positioning of bags students carry on their backs day in and day out, and it really is a serious safety issue.
She Is Dallas Info: Parker University College of Chiropractic is located at 2500 Walnut Hill Ln in Dallas but they also have several clinics in the DFW area. For more information about , please visit the Parker University website. For more information about back health, please check out the work on Dr. Mancini’s Facebook page or follow Dr. Mancini on Twitter.
The American Chiropractic Association
(ACA) lists the following backpack tips as the school year begins:
- A backpack should never hang more than 4 inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases weight on the shoulders and causes children to learn forward while walking.
- Make sure your child's backpack never weighs more than 5 to 10 percent of his or her body weight to keep weight off the spine.
- Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps to keep weight even on both sides.
- Wide, padded straps are very important to keeping your child's back safe.
- The shoulder straps should be adjustable to fit comfortably on the shoulders and back.