Backpacks can put stress on your child’s back and cause them unnecessary pain.
Recommendations tend to vary on how much weight a child should carry, but the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons believes that it should never be greater than 20% of their body weight. Ideally, the weight should not surpass 10%.
To figure out how much your little one is hauling, you can test the weight on the bathroom scale.
Consider trying some of these tips for back safety:
- Find a backpack that is a good fit and make sure that the straps are tight enough so the backpack is close to the body, without being too uncomfortable.
- Make an effort to pack it efficiently so the heaviest items go in first. This will cause the weight to be centralized lower and closer to the body.
- Show your children how to lift their backpack, using their legs while keeping it close to the body. You can explain to them that their body should be straight when putting on their backpack.
- Remind them to always use both straps, because it will help distribute the weight. Using only one strap can cause straining on one side of the body.
- If they have band instruments or laptops, your kids might find it more comfortable to carry them in a separate bag or a case with a handle.
If you notice your kids struggling to put on their backpacks, they may be carrying too much weight. Look for red marks on the shoulders; tension headaches or aches in their neck, shoulders, and back.
A visit with a great chiropractor in Vancouver WA is always a good idea before a new school year!