Backpack Cause Back Problems

When your child trundles off to school with a full backpack on his shoulders, you can worry that he will hurt himself with such a heavy load.

He can, but the damage is not likely to be in the obvious place: the back. Rather, he is more likely to get hurt falling over a backpack than he is by wearing one, new research suggests.

Surprisingly, carrying a backpack is not a shoo-in for the second most common way to become corrupted with a backpack. Based on a study by, there are two sources competing for second place as the reason for backpack related injuries. Wearing the backpack, but to be victimized by someone throwing a road is as likely to result in personal injury.

The researchers decided to study this question because they realized that wearing a heavy backpack is often the news as a potential source of injury. In his experience in the emergency room and doctors’ surgeries, but “rarely was there ever any back injuries from the backpack,” says one of the researchers, Dr. Brent Wiersema, a resident in orthopedics at the Bi-County Community Hospital in Warren, Mich.

In the January issue of Pediatrics, the researchers analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Injury information clearing house. All children from 6 to 18 recorded have an injury related to a backpack included.

There were 247 children with backpack related injuries in data 1999-2000.

Most injuries (28 percent) was due to tripping over a backpack, followed by wearing a (13 percent) and getting hit by a (13 per cent). Other causes of injury include cut by mistake while reaching into the backpack.

Frequently asked questions about damage in connection with the backpack was the head and face (22 percent), followed by the hand (14%), wrist or elbow (13%), shoulder (12 percent), and ankle or foot (12 percent).

Back injuries ranked only sixth, at 11 percent. But when the back injury was reported, the majority of such damage (58 percent) were related to wearing the backpack.

Because falls over a backpack was the main cause of injury, the main backpack related parts of body injury of this type of accidents where the ankle and foot or wrist and elbow. Together these two areas accounted for a quarter of the backpack related injuries.

Children affected by a backpack was usually the intended victim to someone using his backpack as a weapon or throw it around in the game, and the face and the head was the area most often injured by this type of abuse.

“I think we anticipated that we would show the most common injury is not going to be back,” says Wiersema. They expected that the cause of the backpack related injuries would not be the result of wearing the backpack, either.” It was more children misbehave, kids goofing around with a backpack,” he says.

Dr. Ronald Maio is Director of the injury Research Center at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, and has worked in the emergency room for more than 20 years. He can’t remember ever having seen an injury related to backpacks, but says that this study suggests “wearing a backpack is not as bad as we think.”

He remembers being a student and trying to make friends with his book bag, and, later, as a parent, often tell their own daughter to look where she put her school bag, worried that someone could trip over it.

“This study shows that most acute injuries depends on how backpack is worn but otherwise the backpack is used,” Maio said. Wear a “isn’t quite as bad as we think.”

To teach children how to wear a backpack properly and to carry a lighter load than many do can decrease as much as 23 percent of the injuries in the study. But scientists say that tell them to leave his backpack in a safe place and do not use it as a weapon could eliminate more than 40 percent of the backpack in damage emergency rooms.

“Time and energy should not necessarily be on how to wear a backpack,” Wiersema ends”, but more on good care. If set and not to swing it.”