Backpack safety

MASON CITY, Iowa - With school starting soon, families are thinking about books, supplies, and backpacks. With so many textbooks and technology being brought home, those bags can get heavy, which can mean problems.

First, you have to choose the right backpack. Find one with adjustable, padded, shoulder straps to avoid spine misalignment and pain. Also, it’s not a bad idea to look for one with a chest strap.

Next, while it appears as a straight forward task, there is a right and wrong way to pack that school bag. One local chiropractor tells us, it’s best to place the heaviest items in the back, closest to your child’s spine. The lightest items should go in front, that way those heavy items aren’t pulling him or her down. In the end, that bag should weigh no more than five to ten percent of the child’s body weight.

Also, remind your children to wear both shoulder straps to avoid neck and back pains.

Those at HAAS chiropractic have another concern though. With more and more students looking into screens at school, they want to remind them to bring that laptop, tablet, or cell phone to eye level. If not they could have some problems.

“What happens is, over time we start seeing this type of (hunched) posturing taking place in which we see muscle imbalance, joint imbalance, nerve irritation, those types of things. Much of what I see in chiropractic with treating these kids are these types of problems,” says Dr. David Haas.

That posture is known as “text neck” – referring to folks who are constantly looking down at their phone to text.

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