The start of the school year is upon us again! Have you noticed how loaded your kids school back packs can get? It is important to prevent injuries in children! So here are Synergy Physio’s five favourite tips to help your kids in getting back to school safely and prevent injury by making the right choices with school bags.
1. Don’t let image get in the way!
Bags that are carried on one side can be a big problem as they put asymmetrical loads through the spine. If a bag is habitually carried on one favoured side, this can contribute to functional scoliosis (muscle imbalance that can create a twist or ‘S shape’ in the spine) and pain. A back pack carried evenly is much safer option for growing spines and is also easier on the neck and shoulders!
2. Make sure the bag size is right
Large back packs on small children can allow for the chance to overload the spine! An easy check is to make sure the bottom of the back pack is not hanging lower than the hips. Try it on in the store and buy one that is a suitable size and length for your child’s spine.
3. Adjust the straps
Keeping the load close to the spine improves the child’s lifting capability. Make sure the pack sits flush on the back by tightening the straps. Long or unfitted straps place unwanted traction load onto the neck and shoulders and also make back pack load harder to lift!
4. Thicker straps are better than thin
Thin back pack straps can place pressure on the delicate neck area and also the front of the shoulders. This area is where the main nerves (brachial plexus) from the neck travel down into the arms, so it is best to avoid excessive pressure here. Having thicker straps helps to distribute the load through the neck and shoulders and are much more comfortable.
5. Find ways to keep the load down
In this digital world, we would hope that kids aren’t carrying as much as they once were. This is not always the case. Try to limit lugging heavy text books to and from school by being more organised. Keep additional extras to a minimum.
If your child is complaining of pain, it is often warranted and may be a simple fix. Call our friendly staff today on 07 54483369 to book an appointment with our team of physiotherapists, or simply book online!
Are you looking forward to putting your feet up once the kids are back at school? Perhaps taking some time out to look after your own health?
Read here our top ten essential tips for healthy women! Once you’ve recovered from the school holidays, then make a plan to improve your own health by joining one of our physio-pilates or yoga-pilates classes! Find out more!