Today's students are susceptible to a range of musculoskeletal injuries, such as neck and back pain, as a result of some of the equipment and devices they frequently use: backpacks, smartphones and other mobile devices.
The American Chiropractic Association offers simple injury-prevention tips parents can share with their children to keep them healthy and pain-free:
- Limit a backpack's weight to no more than 5 to 10 percent of the child's body weight. A heavier backpack will cause your child to bend forward in an attempt to support the weight on his or her back, rather than on the shoulders by using the straps.
- A backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
- Urge your child to wear both of the backpack's straps—not to sling it over one shoulder as is common. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms as well as low back pain.
- To avoid strain when texting on a smartphone, encourage children to bring their arms up in front of their eyes so that they don't need to look down to see the screen. If they do look down, they should tuck in their chin rather than dropping the entire head forward.
- Limit a child's screen time, and make sure he or she takes periodic stretch breaks. Kids should balance sedentary screen time with regular physical activity.
For more information contact TexStar Chiropractic.
American Chiropractic Association