October 17th-23rd is Back Care Awareness week.
This year, the focus is on the potential ill effects of children carrying heavy school bags each day.
Heavy bags put pressure on the discs between the spinal vertebrae, which can cause long term back pain in small and still-developing bodies.
Potential long-term effects may include: strains to the neck and shoulders resulting in headaches and early development of poor posture.
To try and keep your child pain-free, a few useful pointers to remember are:
- It is best to use a backpack rather than other types of bags, as it will avoid straining one shoulder alone, but even a backpack should not be overloaded.
- Buy a sturdy bag with wide and adjustable shoulder straps for your child.
- Check your child’s posture with the bag on. Make sure the child is not slouching or leaning forward.
- Make sure only necessary items are in the bag.
- Encourage your child to use their locker to its full capacity for any items they do not need to carry to and fro between school and home.