While it may seem as though summer has just started, the truth of the matter is “back to school” time is creeping just around the corner. Many parents have already started the school shopping process in an attempt to find all of the necessities for the academic year. Of course, no school shopping trip is complete with out a new backpack!
Heavy Backpacks Can Cause Back & Shoulder Pain and Poor Posture
If you’ve been concerned about the effects that extra weight might have on your child’s still growing body, your instincts are correct. Backpacks that are too heavy can cause a lot of problems for kids, like back and shoulder pain, and poor posture. While we wait for solutions like digital textbooks to become widespread, there are things you can do to help prevent injury.
Backpacks Should Weigh No More Than 10% of a Child’s Weight
While it’s common these days to see children carrying as much as a quarter of their body weight, the American Chiropractic Association recommends a backpack weigh no more than 10 percent of a child’s weight .
When selecting a backpack, look for:
- An ergonomic design
- The correct size: never wider or longer than your child’s torso and never hanging more than 4 inches below the waist
- Padded back and shoulder straps
- Hip and chest belts to help transfer some of the weight to the hips and torso
- Multiple compartments to better distribute the weight
- Compression straps on the sides or bottom to stabilize the contents
- Reflective material
A roomy backpack may seem like a good idea, but the more space there is to fill, the more likely your child will fill it. Make sure your child uses both straps when carrying the backpack. Using one strap shifts the weight to one side and causes muscle pain and posture problems.
The image here can help educate and guide your backpack shopping decisions. Click on the image for an expanded size that’s easier to read and print out when you’re back-to-school shopping.
Free Backpack Checks
At superior Spine Care we know that proper spine care starts young and that regular strain, especially at a young age, can have lasting impacts on your child’s health, so if you are unsure of your child’s backpack fit, or concerned how it may be affecting their posture, call us at 440.716.8400 to schedule a FREE Backpack Check!