What will they wear?
What kind of shoes will keep them in style and comfort?
What kind of backpack should you buy?
That last one is actually pretty important in a variety of ways, but most importantly because the backpack your child wears on their back can massively impact their comfort and health throughout the year. Chiropractic care in Vancouver WA can help keep your child free of pain, but smart decisions will help them put the right foot forward from the start.
What’s too heavy for their growing bodies?
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), emergency rooms see over 6,500 visits each year form children aged 5-18 stemming from heavy backpacks. Research also shows that by the time high school ends, almost 60% of children have experienced at least one significant pain episode in their lower back.
Your child’s backpack is responsible for a significant amount of the back pain they will experience during their school career.
Some common symptoms of poor backpack carrying and loading can include:
- Neck pain
- Poor posture
- Shoulder pain
These symptoms are becoming and more and more prevalent these days as the use of lockers is consistently going down. The result of this is that students are carrying all of their belongings with them throughout the day, instead of only bringing individual schoolwork to each class.
The days of socializing at the locker with your friends and personalizing it with pictures and magnets are becoming a thing of the past. Ask anyone you know and they will be able to reminisce about the good old days of storing all of their belongings in their locker.
These days though, it’s another story!
Due to security concerns, many schools are opting to forego even offering lockers to children. And, in those schools that still do offer lockers, most kids will tell you that they never even visit it, much less use it to hold their possessions.
One reason for this might be that kids these days like to have all of their things with them at all times, just in case.
Maybe they will need to swap something or possibly have a minute to work on some homework unexpectedly… either way, bringing all of their materials with them seems to make sense.
Another reason behind this new phenomenon of carrying everything with you in your backpack at all times is that kids feel that they simply don’t have time to stop at a locker during their short break in between classes.
It is also important to note that students have more technological devices on their person these days, and either don’t feel comfortable leaving them behind or simply want to have them with them.
Many kids carry their laptops, tablets, and cell phones with them all day. All of these items, in our age of technology, are hard to leave home without.
With these changes in the way kids view their backpacks, it can be difficult to fully avoid carrying a heavy bag with them at all times. That said, you can fight back by shopping smart and following some suggestions from your chiropractor in Vancouver WA!
- Choose the right size: Try not to exceed 75% of the length of your child’s back, and make sure to not buy one that is too long or too short. It should fit between the shoulder blades and waist.
- Pack it right: The maximum weight of the entire backpack should not be heavier than 20% of your child’s body weight, better if even less.
- Wear it right: Make sure that both of the shoulder straps are snug on your child but not tight. The straps should be 1.5″ minimum, adjustable, and padded. It should also rest on the lower back.
- Fill it correctly: Try to make sure that sharp items, such as pencils and pens are kept safe so they won’t poke through and injure your child.
- Ensure it is comfortable on their back: A good backpack won’t place undue pressure on their upper or lower back. When the weight is evenly dispersed, it is easier on them and will allow them to effectively carry it long term.
It’s always a great idea to have your child’s back checked to ensure proper alignment, especially if they mention they are experiencing any of the above symptoms.
Family and Sports Chiropractic Clinic is continually trying to provide you and your family with the best chiropractic care in Vancouver WA. Contact us today to find out more about the perfect backpack for your child or to schedule your back-to-school chiropractic consultation.