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Back to School

Published on 01 September 2014  | Download | back to previous

Back to SchoolSeptember's here and children and parents alike are preparing for the new school year. Often parents look at durability when buying school supplies including uniform, stationary and possibly the most important item, the back pack. But it is also important to consider function.

For a long time concern has been raised about the demands placed on the developing spine when carrying heavy back packs to and from school. Whilst there has been a lot of research into the matter, there are still no definitive guidelines as to a safe weight limit. Some authors have suggested 15-20% of the child's body weight but other authors refrain from offering suggestions. Even though, this is the case, we can all use some common sense.

For this month's news item, please see the advice below, as this may help a little spine you know:-

• Lightweight material (canvas as opposed to leather)
• Two padded, wide (2-inches), adjustable shoulder straps on the backpack
• Padded back
• Individualized compartments
• Hip strap, waist belt, or frame to redistribute the weight of the backpack from the shoulders and back to the pelvis
• Wheels so that the backpack can be pulled rather than carried
• Consider using a separate bag for the child's laptop or other heavy items

If you have a child complaining of back pain, please put this advice into action. It is also important to have an assessment as to ensure there are no other considerations to be concerned with, for more information contact Dr. Laura Young on 01656 856162

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