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Make Backpack Safety a Priority This Year



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Left: Wrong, Right: Correct (click for larger version)
October 12, 2011
A child's spine is forever being twisted, compressed and sprung with many activities. As children head back to school, it is the perfect time to talk with them about backpack safety. Improper backpack use can lead to a lifetime of health problems as the spine is jammed or rotated. The spine will adapt and grow with the new altered pattern. This could lead to spinal problems including kyphosis (slumped shoulders), curvature of the spine (scoliosis) or sway back (hyper lordosis). Fortunately, there are four easy steps to reduce your child's risk of injury.

First, choose the correct backpack. Be sure the backpack is sized correctly for your child. Second, pack right. The maximum weight of the loaded backpack should not exceed 15% of your child's body weight, so pack only what is needed. If the backpack forces your child to bend forward to carry it, it is overloaded. Third, lift the pack correctly. Face the pack, bend at your knees and use both hands to check the weight of the pack. Lift the pack with the legs. Apply one shoulder strap and then the other. Never sling the backpack onto one shoulder. This can lead to permanent misalignment of the spine, muscle fatigue and a lowered state of health. Finally, use both shoulder straps and pull them snug but not too tight. When the backpack has a waist strap, use it. This will help to distribute the weight of the pack.

The latest studies show that posture is the window to the spine. If posture is misaligned, then the spine inside is also misaligned. This puts unhealthy pressure on the spinal column and the nervous system. Early detection and elimination of spinal imbalance, through yearly spinal checkups, will lead to a healthy nervous system at each stage of your child's life.

Roswell Health & Injury Center is offering to check all children for hidden spinal problems this month. The first visit consult, exam, and x-ray is FREE.

We will review the findings with you. You will be able to see for yourself whether or not your child's spine is growing properly.

Again, it's FREE for the month of August.

Dr. John A Webster has over 27 years of experience in Chiropractic Care and sees patients at Roswell Health and Injury Center, 11490 Alpharetta Hwy, Ste. 100. 770-442-3343

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