Children and Backpacks

Are Backpacks Creating Pain For Our Children?

The Answer Is Yes!

Back pain is already common among American adults, but the trend seems to be getting younger and younger.

Children today are suffering from more back pain than any previous generations. Why the change? A major contributing factor seems to be the giant backpacks students lug to and from class on a daily basis.

According to a recent study conducted in Italy, the average child carries around the equivalent of a 39-pound burden for a 176-pound man or a 29-pound load for a 132-pound woman. Of those children carrying heavy back-packs, 60 percent had experienced back pain as a result. Another study in France concluded that the longer a child wears a heavy backpack, the longer it takes for a curvature or deformity of the spine to correct itself.

Among solutions suggested for the problem, children should carry no more than five to 10 percent of their own body weight on their back, and wear ergonomically designed packs with double padded shoulder straps fitted to hang no more than four inches below a child’s waistline.

In 2001 alone, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that backpack related injuries sent more than 7,000 people to the emergency room.

Once again, it’s easier to stay healthy than to have to get healthy.

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