Get the school bag in check and good posture will follow

FROM organising school book lists and uniforms, preparing for the start of a new school year can be stressful enough without thinking about the possible health risks associated with going back to school.

However health groups are warning parents to be mindful of different risks which can resurface at the start of a new term, including an increase in asthma emergencies, sun safety and poor posture.

According to the Chiropractors Association of Australia, 90% of school children have bad posture when carrying their bags, which may cause damage to the spine and lead to pain issues later in life.

CAA spokesperson Dr Billy Chow said raising awareness among parents, teachers and the public about the effects of poor posture in school children can help reduce the number of spinal injuries.

"What these results show is that while nearly all schoolchildren have bad posture, there is a lack of knowledge about how to identify bad posture and how to improve it," he said.

Dr Peter Bertram from Platinum Chiropractic Centre in Gladstone had a few tips on how to keep good posture while carrying a school bag.

He said it was not only important to buy the right bag, but also make sure it was worn properly to avoid stress on the back.

"The first thing is to make sure the back pack is not bigger than the child," he said.

"Also make sure it's got two wide shoulder straps; thicker padding is better than little padding."

"The general rule is that the bag shouldn't weigh more than 10% of the child's body weight."

He said the bag shouldn't sit too low, and that it should never be worn over one shoulder.



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