Mayfield: Relieving Neck Pain

Health &Wellness The Newsletter About Your Health And Caring For Your Body

Improve Your Posture In The Classroom

CORRECT

INCORRECT

Aching backs and shoulders? Weakened muscles? Stooped posture? Does your child have these symptoms after wearing a heavy school backpack? Parents can take steps to help children load and wear backpacks the correct way to avoid health problems. Loading the backpack: • A child’s backpack should weigh no more than about 10% of his or her body weight. This means a student weighing 100 pounds shouldn’t wear a loaded school backpack heavier than about 10 pounds. • Load heaviest items closest to the child’s back (the back of the pack). • Arrange books and materials so they won’t slide around in the backpack. • Check what your child carries to school and brings home. Make sure the items are necessary for the day’s activities. • If the backpack is too heavy on a regular basis, consider using a book bag on wheels if your child’s school allows it.

Wearing the backpack: • Distribute weight evenly by using both straps. Wearing a pack slung over one shoulder can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort. • Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. Shoulders and necks have many blood vessels and nerves that can cause pain and tingling in the neck, arms, and hands when too much pressure is applied. • Wear the waist belt if the backpack has one. This helps distribute the pack’s weight more evenly. • The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back. It should never rest more than four inches below the child’s waistline. • School backpacks come in different sizes for different ages. Choose the right size pack for your child as well as one with enough room for necessary school items.

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