Back to school might mean back to juvenile back pain for some children and adolescents in north Dallas
As leading back and spine health specialists in north Dallas, Allen TX and Collin County, the team at Spine Vue hates to think of children suffering from any form of back pain. However, with back to school time just around the corner, we know our children are at risk of suffering from back pain caused by overly heavy backpacks.
Students from grades one all the way through 12 are at risk of both short-term and long-term back or spine conditions caused by lugging their backpacks to and from school every day. And the smaller the kid, the bigger the risk.
Overly heavy backpacks can cause juvenile back pain and in severe cases could also cause a child to develop scoliosis, a curvature of the spine that can stem from hunching the shoulders forward to deal with the weight of the load.
Steps to take to care for your child’s back health
Now that you’re aware of some of the risks, here’s what you can do to keep your kids’ backs in good condition.
Firstly, your child’s backpack should weigh no more than 5-10% of his or her body weight. So for a 100 lb. child, ideally the pack wouldn’t weigh more than 5-10 lbs.
Secondly, you want to ensure your child is wearing a properly sized and properly fitted backpack. It shouldn’t hang more than four inches below the waist. You should also try to keep from purchasing a pack bigger than what your child needs. If the space is there, chances are it will get filled up with something. You can also attempt to convince your child to use the waist band or strap that probably comes on their backpack. Be forewarned though, it’s unlikely that kids over the age of 6 will allow for this.
While you can’t control how much homework a teacher is assigning, or how many books are being sent home, you can help stay on top of the clutter accumulating in your child’s back. Once a week, go through the backpack and take out any of the garbage, old clothing, or any of the other items that simply don’t need to be in there.
Back problems that can’t be blamed on the backpack
As much as it would be nice for every child’s back pain to be explained by something as simple as a too-heavy backpack, we know better than anyone that unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.
If your child is experiencing back pain, we ask that you seek medical attention, as he or she may be dealing with a more serious issue, such as scoliosis or juvenile arthritis. At Spine Vue Clinic, serving north Dallas, Allen TX, McKinney TX and all of Collin County, we provide the compassionate and comprehensive care we know you require for your child.