Why Backpack Safety Is Important

People of all ages can sustain orthopedic injuries. Children are particularly susceptible to sustaining injuries from backpacks. Backpacks that are not ergonomically designed and those that are too bulky or heavy can cause back, neck, arm, and shoulder injuries. To help keep your kids safe, consider choosing ergonomic backpacks. Tell your kids about the importance of limiting the weight of their backpacks and of wearing them properly. If you do notice any signs that your kids may have developed injuries from their backpacks, schedule a visit to an orthopedist promptly.

How Backpacks Disrupt Proper Biomechanics

When a backpack is excessively heavy or it’s placed on a child’s shoulders incorrectly, its weight pulls the child backward. To counteract this effect, a child will typically lean forward at the hips or arch the back. Both of these actions disrupt the normal curvature of the spine and can lead to pain of the shoulders, back, and neck. It’s quite common for kids to wear only one strap of a backpack over one shoulder or to use messenger-style bags, which can also lead to problems. These children are more likely to develop neck, shoulder, lower back, and upper back pain.

Why Neurological Symptoms Develop

Your child’s orthopedist is likely to recommend choosing a backpack with wide, well-padded straps. This is because narrow, tight straps do not allow for proper blood flow in the shoulder area. They can also contribute to irritation of the nerves, which can lead to numbness, tingling, and weakness that extends down the arms.

How Acute Injuries Can Occur

Backpacks are closely linked to repetitive strain injuries; however, they can also cause acute injuries. Students, particularly young kids, may not have a good sense of how much space a full backpack requires. While they are navigating a busy hallway or turning in a narrow bus aisle, kids can inadvertently strike others with their bags. Since excessively heavy backpacks alter a person’s center of gravity, kids wearing them are more likely to trip, fall, and sustain injuries.

If you’re concerned that your child might have musculoskeletal problems , you can talk to a team of specialists in pediatric orthopedics near Queens. Call Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine at (718) 897-2228 to arrange a consultation with an orthopedist. Our clinic treats all types of repetitive strain injuries and sports injuries.

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