Background: Recent studies found that a wrong backpack may cause fatigue and back pain and affect the spine’s normal appearance and curvature due to mal-growth disorders. The aim of this study was to assess parents’ awareness and knowledge regarding backpacks and related musculoskeletal disorders in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted targeting all schoolchild caregivers Al-Ahsa city from April 2022 to July 2022. Data were collected using an online study questionnaire that the study researchers developed through an intensive literature review and expert consultation. The researchers and their relatives uploaded the study questionnaire online through social media platforms until no more new responses were added.
Results: A total of 423 parents of children were included. Among them, 253 (59.8%) were mothers. Exact 404 (95.5%) were married, and 125 (29.6%) fathers had a university level of education, while 249 (58.9%) had a secondary level of education or less. As for father work, 180 (42.6%) had governmental jobs. A total of 174 (41.1%) mothers had a university-level education. About 95.5% of the parents reported that they chose for their children a backpack with two shoulder straps instead of one; 94.3% know that the size of the backpack should be suitable for the child, and 91.3% said that backpack should be light-weighted. Generally, 44.4% of the parents were educated about the school bag, mainly through social media (49.8%).
Conclusion: The study showed that most school children’s parents were knowledgeable regarding school backpacks, especially mothers. Good awareness included backpack prosperities, proper weight, carrying methods, and associated musculoskeletal disorders.
Key words: Backpack, school bag, parents, awareness, knowledge, practice, Saudi Arabia.