Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, September 2022. Hospiten Roca offers some advice on how to use backpacks properly when going back to school. Specifically, pediatric specialist, Hilario Sosa Santana has compiled some recommendations that should be taken into account to avoid injuries in children.
Among them, the importance of choosing good backpacks that do not strain children’s backs, in addition to explaining the risks to schoolchildren if the right material is not chosen.
"What parents should remember is that, to avoid overloading backpacks, children should only carry the school material necessary for that particular day." In turn, the Hospiten Roca specialist recommends keeping a folder with the notes for each subject to avoid having to carry notebooks for each subject and, lastly, advises the use of school lockers if at all possible. In that way, you can avoid the consequences of carrying heavy weights every day. The most common is back pain and the most serious, although less common, is scoliosis (curvature of the spine)
The choice and position of a backpack is just as important as the weight. “The most ergonomic backpacks are those carried on the back, which are similar to backpacks used for hiking, where you have to carry weight for long periods of time. Furthermore, the size of the backpack must be equal to or less than the size of the child’s chest”, suggests Dr. Hilario Sosa.
To find the perfect backpack, one of the features you should take into account are padded straps, which should be as wide as possible, together with an abdominal belt allowing weight to be distributed over the body. In addition, the specialist recommends the backpack include multiple compartments to help distribute weight more evenly and not overload one side more than the other. The heaviest weight should also be carried in the rear compartment, near the back, with the backpack worn using both straps, which should be as close together as possible, and not hung on one shoulder.
In the case you opt for a trolley-type backpack, although they are less recommended than the type worn on the back, you should choose one that can be pushed rather than pulled. Pulling, or dragging a heavy weight can stretch the shoulder (pulling the arm backwards), which compromises the joint and may cause injury.
Regarding the use of the backpack, Hospiten Roca states that the ideal way to pick up and carry weight on the back is to place the backpack on a table, at hip height, not from the floor. At the same time, the backpack should rest on the lower back and be about two inches above the waist. Finally, and most important, if you have to bend over with the backpack on your back, it is best to do so by bending your knees.
About the Hospiten Group
The Hospiten Group is an international healthcare network with over 50 years of experience, committed to providing the highest quality service, and which has 20 private medical-hospital centers in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica and Panama and more than 100 outpatient centers under the brand Clinic Assist. Founded by Dr. Pedro Luis Cobiella, the group attends more than 2,000,000 patients from all over the world every year with a workforce of more than 5,000 people.