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Expatriate Insurance News: Heavy schoolbags 'can cause long-term health problems'

Expatriate children with heavy school bags may be putting themselves at risk of having to make a claim on international medical insurance policies in the future, statements by a specialist have indicated.

Back pain expert and osteopath Adam Dallison claimed carrying these heavy items is known to compress the discs in the spine, which can cause the lower back, neck and shoulders to hurt.

Arms can become numb when straps dig into shoulders, he continued.

Furthermore, the specialist said youngsters can develop poor posture as a result of this practice, which can cause long-term health and spinal problems.

These include circulation issues, a lack of energy, head and back aches and round shoulders, he remarked.

Mr Dallison noted he sees more and more children with spinal problems every year, with some of these complaints the result of "playing computer games and slouching in school and at home".

Others are due to kids taking part in sports, such as gymnastics and dance, he added.

The expert said a child's bag should not be more than ten per cent of the youngster's bodyweight.

It should also be packed in such a way as for the heaviness to be evenly distributed, with larger items put towards the back.

Both rucksack straps ought to be utilised and these must be well padded, so they do not dig into a youngster's armpits.

Mr Dallison also argued schools should deal with the problem of dangerous postures by improving their chairs.

A recent analysis of 1,403 pupils aged between 12 and 17 from 11 different educational institutes in north-western Spain revealed substantial numbers of teenagers are carrying more than ten per cent of their bodyweight in their schoolbags.

This can lead them to suffer from back pain and a number of related disorders, the researchers claimed.

The investigation was published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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