|The Latest Research on Backpack Safety
It’s back-to-school time — time for new clothes, new pencils, new notebooks and new backpacks. But, although backpacks are now ubiquitous in school-yards everywhere, the can also pose a serious health threat.
Research shows that “children who experience back pain are at a heightened risk of having back pain as adults. The economic impact may be significant, because back pain is a major cause of disability in adults.” (Clin Orthop Relat Res 2003;409:78-84.)
Picking the right pack could prevent a lot of pain down the road. When purchasing a backpack for your child, take care that the size of the pack is in relation to the child’s frame. Also, choose a pack with padded shoulder straps — blood circulation in the neck and shoulders is essential for spinal health.
How you pack and carry the backpack is also vital. Here are some tips:
Backpacks aren’t just for students: Adults use backpacks for carrying a variety of loads, from books to babies. A brief report on child carries and backpacks concluded that injuries from child carriers and backpacks “appear to come from three general sources: product appropriateness and design, product condition, and product use.” (Injury Prevention 2000;6:56.)Dr. Barbara Smith