• HEALTH: A SECOND OPINION
    BY: CHAD MCDILL D.C.
    BACKPACK SAFETY: 2021
    The backpack alone is not the problem; it is the carrying method, size of the pack,
    weight of the pack and the loading procedure that causes the problem Around the country
    health care professionals agree that backpacks are a health concern for our children.
    Improper use of backpacks can lead to back pain and poor posture in children. The back
    pain may go away after the child graduates from college and stops using the backpack
    (that’s at least 12-16 years of use), however the poor posture established while carrying
    the backpack often lingers for a lifetime. Research shows that the longer a child wears a
    heavy backpack, the longer it takes for a deformity of the spine or curvature to be
    corrected. Research also has shown that loss of the cervical curve caused by Forward
    Head Posture (FHP) causes spinal cord demyelination and neuronal loss. Thankfully in
    Dade County, the schools still provide lockers for children. In urban areas lockers are
    being removed from schools due to the concern for firearms and drugs being stored in the
    lockers. Removing lockers forces the children to have to carry all their materials in the
    book bag and increases that weight on the child’s spine.
    Assessing the size, weight and carrying method. Most importantly a child should
    never carry any more than 10% of their body weight in the backpack. This means that
    your 75 pound child should not carry more than 7.5 pounds in their backpack. All
    children should use both shoulder straps to carry the backpack. The backpack should
    have wide padded shoulder straps, a padded back, a waist support belt if possible, and
    several compartments. The pack should only measure 75% of the length of the child’s
    back. 75% is approximately the length between the top of the shoulder blades and the
    waist or top of buttocks. The heaviest items should be loaded first and be placed closest
    to the inside of the backpack (closest to the spine). Load the lightest items on the outside
    and place sharp items like pens and pencils in a separate compartment away from the
    body. Children should always use the waist support strap if available and never let the
    backpack hang on or below the buttocks. Going over these procedures with your children
    will allow them to safely carry the backpack and help reduce poor posture.
    Poor posture leads to stress on the spinal column. The spinal column contains and
    protects the spinal cord which is the connection between the brain and body (Brain +
    spinal cord = central nervous system or CNS). The CNS is the way the body controls and
    coordinates the entire body’s function all the way down to the immune system. Undue
    pressure from poor posture caused by the improper use of a backpack is very damaging
    and totally avoidable. Talk to your children about managing the problem of improper use
    and overloading of backpacks. Then, take your kids with you to the chiropractor and find
    out if damaging misalignments of the spine called Subluxations are robbing them of their
    Health potential.
    Provided By:
    Chad McDill DC
    Complete Chiropractic Care, LLC
    4580 West Hwy. 136
    Trenton, GA 30752
    (706) 657-477