Backpack safety video on how to help protect your children's future health
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Dr. Jon P. Heins: Welcome, and thank you for watching this video presentation on Backpack Safety, I'm Dr. Heins and as a proud member of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors, in an annual campaign effort to inform you about Backpack Safety Awareness, I have put together this short presentation. Depending on your sense of humor, this cartoon you're looking at here, you may or may not get a good laugh out of. My purpose of putting it here, however is to show you how much weight the average fifth grader carries on their bags everyday in proportion to a fully grown adult marine, which you can clearly see by this child's facial expression. It's obviously not a laughing matter. According to the American Chiropractic Association, backpacks are the leading cause of back and shoulder pain for millions of children and adolescents each year, and the children are suffering from back pain much earlier than previous generations. The New York Times reported that parents and educators are complaining school backpacks are getting heavier, bulging with textbooks, loose leaf binders, musical instruments, laptops and lunch bags. As a result, orthopedists warn children are increasingly at risk for back pain, muscular strain and hunched posture. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons is also warning parents that backpacks that are too heavy or worn incorrectly could injure a child's bones, muscles and joints. In fact, a survey by the American Academy of Orthopedics, 71% of orthopedists feels that backpacks are a clinical problem for children. In addition, the American Physical Therapy Association stated that a too-heavy or improperly worn backpack may harm joints and muscles, especially in children. A scientific experiment found that carrying a backpack alters the mobility of spinal bones, and could lead to a restricted movement, a risk factor for back pain. In another study that used MRI's to examine the effect of backpacks on discs of the spine and according to that report, backpacks alter the fluid content of these discs, a risk factor for disc herniation and arthritis. It's obvious that this scientific research is revealing an alarming danger associated with improper childhood backpack use. This research comes from the increasing number of reports of childhood back pain in the past decade. According to the research, by the end of their teen years, close to 74% of children experience at least one back pain episode. This research indicates that this is more than likely due to the improper use of backpacks. In fact as of 2006, there have been alarming rise in emergency room business due to improperly worn backpacks among children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that over 7,000 emergency room visits each year result from injuries related to backpacks. They also report that backpack-related injuries have got up 330% since 1996. So what exactly really injuries influences that lead to over 7,000 emergency room visits a year, as a direct result of improper use of backpacks. In order of incidents, they are as follows. Complaints of low back pain, complaints of neck pain, complaints of shoulder pain, complaints of mid-back pain, injuries from tripping and falling, and lastly, broken bones as a result of those falls. Here is some for you to think about. The back pain is currently leading to more than 19 million doctor visits per year. What's that figure going to become when the children of the backpack generation are in their 30s and 40s? So, how much weight are your children carrying in their backpacks? In a study of parental knowledge of school backpack weight and contents, 96% of parents had never checked their child's backpack weight, and 34% had never checked the backpack contents. To find out exactly how much weight children are likely to carry in their backpacks, researchers determine the way weight of all the backpacks used by the sixth graders at several schools in Milan, Italy. The study found that the ave
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