Backpack Hazards: Caution on Carrying Backpacks

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While backpacks provide the greatest convenience in carrying those heavy stuffs we need everyday, they can actually be dangerous to the back. Read on and learn the hazards of carrying a heavy backpack.

Think of how many books, notebooks and other stuffs are put into your child’s backpack. Observe how your child carries this burden five times a week.

It may seem harmless, but that backpack could lead to serious health hazards to your child. At great risk is your child’s spinal cord because a heavy backpack could distort the natural curve of the middle and lower back. This could lead to a serious misalignment of the backbones that will not only restrict movement, but will also affect posture, balance, and spine disorders. This will cause neck pain, headaches, and back pain.

According to Backpack Safety America, several studies also show that heavy backpacks reduce the fluid content of the invertebral discs of the spine. The loss of fluid in these “cushions” could lead to herniation or slipped disc or osteoarthritis, in which cartilages in the joints are breaking down.

Slinging your backpack on one shoulder can result in an asymmetrical spine, strained shoulder and neck. In extreme cases, the nerve that supplies the shoulder muscle becomes pinched, causing what experts day “scapular winging”.

Carrying heavy backpacks causes long-term injuries, too. Do you know that a 12-pound backpack lifted ten times a day for one whole year is equal to lifting six full-sized automobiles?

In order to address the problem, be sure to look for backpacks with design features that would help reduce the risk of back pain. Backpacks made of light materials like canvas, as opposed to leather, are great choices. Individual compartments also help balance the backpack.

Certain features could also reduce the strain like waist belt, hip strap, padded adjustable shoulder straps, and support frame by redistributing the weight from the shoulders, back, and pelvis.

In packing, distribute small items in the compartments evenly and don’t pack bulky and sharp objects directly in contact with the back. Also, heavy objects should be packed first so that they will be carried lower and thus, closer to the body.

Keep the backpack close to the body for proper balance and posture. To do this, adjust the backpack to fit snugly on the back. If possible, leave books that will not be used for the day to lessen the weight.

Moreover, there are types of bags more convenient than backpacks like saddlebags, molded backpacks, and bags with inflatable lumbar support. If you want to keep you child safe from the hazards of using backpacks, you have so many other bag options.

For more tips on how to prevent back pain and other health hazards of heavy backpacks, it is advisable to consult a doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist.