The kids are back in school and schedules have started to turn into a routine. A new school year brings the return of backpack awareness and safety. As kids are carrying heavier loads to and from school, it is normal to hear complaints about heavy backpacks and the resulting back pain. While teachers may think it is necessary for students to carry every book home each night, this could be detrimental for your child’s spine and overall body. However, there are some things you can do to make sure you find the correct backpack that fits your child and things you can do to make sure your child is wearing the backpack correctly.
You may have not even thought about how your child wears their backpack, or you may have thought all backpacks are the same. So, we ask … do you know the proper positioning of a backpack or how to find the best fit? Most parents don’t know either, so we are here to help you figure out if your child’s backpack is right for them!
Here are a few tips to follow to pick the right backpack:
- Choose a backpack that is light weight. The recommended weight a child should carry in their backpack is 10-15% of their body weight, so make sure the backpack doesn’t exceed that recommendation.
- The backpack should not be wider than the torso of the child.
- Use a backpack that has two wide shoulder straps, preferably 2 inches wide and padded, this will evenly distribute the weight across the shoulders making it more comfortable. Avoid using bags that have one strap slung over across the body, or using one strap bags. This can lead to poor posture with all the weight on one shoulder and could cause your child to slouch or lean to one side.
- Waist and chest straps are added for comfort and can help further distribute the weight.
A backpack with multiple compartments can help distribute the weight evenly and prevent things from shifting during motion.
- Added padding along the back of the backpack provides comfort from sharp poking objects like binders or books.
Here are tips to properly wear a backpack:
- The bottom of the backpack should rest 2 inches above the child’s waist.
- The top should rest at the base of the child’s neck.
- Both straps should be worn and pulled snugly to the body. A snug fitting backpack will help balance the child’s weight and center of gravity. The work will shift from hips to legs, making it more efficient and decrease the possibility for injury.
- Chest straps and waist straps should be worn.
These are easy steps to follow and remember during the school years as your little Einstein grows. If you need or want help fitting your child for a backpack, we are more than happy to help make sure the backpack they have is the best fit for them. If the topic of sore backs has come up, it is a perfect time to bring them in for an evaluation. Chiropractic will help balance their spine and allow them better support to carry their backpack. There is no age limit to see the Chiropractor, but earlier is better to help prevent any issues. Children respond very well to Chiropractic adjustments and usually see results soon after treatment.
More info can be found at ICPA website.
Article by Dr. Elise Hamilton