Children are back for a new school year soon and the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) is encouraging parents across the country to check their children’s posture, as well as the design and contents of their school bag to help prevent school children suffering from back and neck pain.
When it’s time to get the kids ready to go back to school after the summer holidays, it’s often a race against the clock to get school uniforms, stationary and books ready on time. But now is also the perfect opportunity to check whether your child’s back will be protected during another jam-packed academic year.
BCA chiropractor, Tim Hutchful, comments: “I regularly see school children complaining of back or neck pain. Young people today can easily overfill their bags with things like mobile phones and tablets to add in – and slinging that over one shoulder while slouching can spell trouble for backs. A quick check of their bags and posture can help children to avoid painful back problems in the future.”
Tips for protecting your child’s back:
Best practice backpacks
We know that backpacks are a great way for schoolchildren to carry their books and stationary but the design of the bag and, crucially, how your child carries a bag can make a big difference to preventing back pain.
Look out for bags which can be carried on both shoulders, with adjustable straps which will hold the contents close to their back and distribute weight evenly. If your child insists on carrying a bag with one strap, encourage them to alternate which shoulder they carry it on and to carry it across their body.
What’s in the bag?
Try spending just a few minutes every evening helping your child pack their school bag. Use this time to ensure that your child is not packing unnecessary items for their day’s activities and to ensure that any weight is equally distributed in their school bag to reduce pressure on their back and neck. Top tip is to ensure that the heavier items are at the top not the bottom of the bag otherwise the rucksack can pull shoulders backwards creating discomfort and more imbalance.