Heavy textbooks, IPads, Tablets, notebooks, and all the other stuff our kids cram into a school backpack can end up weighing more than most parents realize. Combine this fact with not properly selecting the correct backpack for the age of your child along with not using the correct load distribution methods and we end up with many pre-teen and teenage children suffering from back pain. If you see your child leaning or slouching forward, or beginning to complain about the weight of the load, try the following simple chiropractic backpack safety tips to ensure this does not become a health concern for your children.
Our first chiropractic backpack safety tip is buy a quality pack properly sized for the age of your children. It makes little sense to expect a seven year old to wear a backpack designed for a sixteen year old. If the backpack is longer than the base of the back and wider than the child’s shoulders than it is too large for them to comfortably carry.
The better packs will have wide shoulder straps with extra padding. These straps will allow the load to be evenly spread across the shoulders resulting in far fewer shoulder issues such as pinched nerves and upper back sprains.
Look for back to school backpacks made of lightweight yet strong materials.
Always purchase a pack with 2 shoulder straps instead of one that is slung over the shoulder.
Once you have the best backpack for your child we now need to look at the best way to load the pack for the least strain on the back and shoulders. This is something hikers and backpackers who travel long distances in the forests have known to do for decades. Load the heaviest items to the inside and top of the backpack. This provides more stability along with far less strain of the muscle groups supporting the pack. Fill out the pack with lighter items towards the back of the pack. Do not overload the pack or allow one side to be heavier than the other.
A good rule of thumb is to keep the weight of the backpack under 15 to 10 percent of your child’s body weight.
Toss out all the unnecessary items your child does not need to be toting around.
By using these simple common sense chiropractic backpack safety tips you child will not come home after the first week of school complaining of sore shoulders or back pain.
Does your child have back or shoulder pain due to their backpack? If so please share your thoughts about the tips above.