Back to school time in Gastonia, NC

Pediatric in Gastonia NC

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With back-to-school time coming soon, pediatric experts recommend your children have your home address and phone number memorized. This might seem obvious, but there are a lot of children who don’t know these things and wouldn’t know how to contact their parents in the event of an emergency.

Dealing with backpacks and preventing back strain

At least 14,000 children are treated every year for back strain or other injuries caused by backpacks that are too heavy. Pediatric experts say that children should not carry more than 5 to 10 percent of their body weight on their backs, and especially not more than 15 percent, but depending on the number and weight of textbooks in your child’s classes, they and you may not have a choice. Not only back pain, but also pain in the shoulders, neck and head can be signs of a problem.

There are things you can do to limit the strain. For one thing, make sure he or she isn’t carrying anything that won’t be needed during school hours. You should also make sure your child’s backpack is no wider or longer than his or her torso, and the bottom of the pack should be no more than two inches lower than the waist when it’s put on. Make sure the back and shoulder straps are wide and padded. Useful features for better ergonomics include hip and chest belts, multiple compartments and compression straps to keep the contents from shifting. Ideally, it should have something shiny on it, in case your child needs to do any walking outside on a foggy day or in other poor lighting conditions.

More important than any of this is that the child wear the backpack properly. If he or she hangs it off one shoulder, this can cause the child to lean to one side, and eventually lead to in back pain. Make sure he or she has it on both shoulders before going out the door. Teach him or her to pack the bag properly, making sure the heaviest items are closest to his or her back, so as not to create problems with balance.

Children who can’t carry a backpack sometimes use rolling backpacks, but don’t take this approach unless it’s absolutely necessary. Children may trip over them.

A pediatric clinic in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a pediatric clinic conveniently located west of Charlotte. It is one of the first medical practices for children in the Gastonia area, has served three generations of families with personalized care and offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. Gastonia Pediatrics is owned and directed by its own physicians. If you need a pediatric clinic, call today.