Medical Update: Choosing the right backpack for your child
Aug 29, 2013 at 7:29 PM CST
Aug 29, 2013
It's back to school this week for Laredo students, and every parent wants to make sure their kids are safe. But there is a danger your kids face that you might not be aware of. Most parents don't think twice about letting their kids pick out a backpack for back to school, but the type of bag your child carries could affect their health. The wrong backpack could lead to back and neck pain, and even something more serious. "They'll start leaning to one side and compensating on the other side and they end up getting abnormal back spasms, muscle problems and something that can happen also is something called scoliosis and of course poor posture, and the poor posture can lead to other problems." Doctor Amando Garza says an overloaded backpack, carried incorrectly, can compress the child’s spine. A backpack carried on only one shoulder can also strain the shoulders and neck. He says it's important that parents pick out the right backpack for their child. "The most important thing in backpacks when you're going to purchase one is to pick one that's light, that has a lot of compartments so you can equally distribute the weight in the backpacks." Doctor Garza says also look for a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps, a padded back, and even a waist belt, to help distribute the weight in the backpack evenly. While a pack on wheels is a good option for a child who has a heavy load to carry it's always best to check with the school first to see if your child will have to navigate stairs. Doctor Garza adds you should pay attention to any complaints from your child. "If you have body aches and back pain and you don't sleep well, you don't sleep well you don't do well in school, it's one thing after the other."