|More than 40 million students in the United States carry school backpacks, and with the average student carrying more weight than is considered safe, it is no surprise that backpack injuries lead to over 7,000 emergency room visits per year. More concerning than emergency room visits, however, are the long-term health consequences of carrying a backpack improperly.Back pain is the number one cause of disability in adults worldwide. This often begins with minor repetitive injuries throughout life, which can begin in childhood. In fact, in one study of American students, 6 out of 10 students ages 9-20 reported they were already experiencing chronic back pain related to heavy backpacks. If left untreated, this can develop into much more serious conditions in adulthood which are also much more difficult to correct. Caring for your child's spine should be as important as caring for their teeth!
Backpack injuries are generally due to two causes- the size, shape, and materials of the backpack itself and the weight that is carried in that . It is recommended that a loaded backpack weigh no more than 15% (about one-sixth) of a student's body weight (100 lb student = 15 lb backpack, 75 lb student = 10 lb). The average student carries a backpack weighing 25%, or one-fourth of the students body weight, and 3 out of 10 students typically carry backpacks weighing up to one-third of their body weight at least once a week! Below are the top questions that you should be asking about your child's backpack, along with recommendations from the American Chiropractic Association.