Keep an eye on children’s school bags, say Chiropractors

With the children about to return to school, their thoughts will turn to new school books and stationery – but according to The British Chiropractic Association (BCA) parents need to be much more aware of their children’s posture when they are on their way back into the classroom, because bad posture can have a damaging effect on their health.

New research which has been carried out by the BCA revealed that over a third (33 per cent) of parents said that a child of theirs had suffered with neck and/or back pain in the past. Although this can of course be a result of many different things, one common trigger for this sort of pain is an overloaded school bag.

It’s common knowledge that one of the best types of school bag is a rucksack, which distributes the weight of the bag more evenly, and so helps to promote a better posture while it’s being carried. Unfortunately, this knowledge doesn’t always translate to the playground, with a third of children still being sent to school with everything in a one strapped bag. This type of bag might be fashionable or convenient but as far as a child’s posture is concerned it can be bad news, especially if the bag is very full, because all the weight is loaded onto just one shoulder, causing aches and pains.

The most common items that children carry in their bags include:

  • Books (87 per cent)
  • A  lunch box (59 per cent),
  • Sports equipment  including trainers (43 per cent)
  • Mobile phones (32 per cent).

This can add up to quite a heavy bag to carry around all day, and if the weight isn’t properly distributed, it can lead to back, neck and shoulder pains. The BCA is suggesting that parents regularly check the weight of their children’s school bags and keep a closer eye on what they carry with them to school.

Tim Hutchful, BCA chiropractor, commented: “Making sure your child doesn’t suffer from back or neck pain this autumn term can be as simple as checking they aren’t carrying around heavy items with them unnecessarily and that they carry their school bag correctly.

“I see an increasing number of young people complaining of back or neck pain and often it’s due to the weighty bags they carry. As youngsters have more belongings than ever before, like mobile phones and tablets, there’s a tendency for them to overfill their bags but, by doing these two basic things, you could be helping them avoid painful back problems”.

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