Back to School Back and Safety
This year as you are preparing for your kids to start school again, think of these tips to help keep kids healthy throughout the school year. First, choose a backpack with two padded straps. The padding helps protect the shoulders and using two straps helps to more evenly distribute weight across the back. Suggest when they pack the bag, that heaviest items go against the back of the back (towards the child's back) and lighter items up front. Purchasing a backpack with a waist strap helps to place less weight on the shoulders and distribute it to the hips as well.
Be sure the backpack is the appropriate size for the size of the child. When wearing the backpack. the pack shouldn't drop below the waist. Backpacks that hang below the waist enlarge the curve of the lumbar spine, causing excess pressure on the low back and hips and can cause low back pain. Cinch straps so that the bottom of the backpack sits at or above the waistline. Check your child's backpack on a weekly basis to make sure they aren't adding any unnecessary items, causing extra weight. Backpacks should weigh no more than 10% to 15% of the child's body weight. For a 65 lb child, that means the backpack should be 6.5 lbs or less.
If your child complains of back pain during the school year, check their bag for proper fit and weight, or see us for a complimentary backpack assessment and posture screening!