It is an exciting time for parents and kids alike as summer is winding down and Northwest Arkansas kids head back to school. Every day, kids of all ages are filling their backpacks with heavy books and supplies. Over time, this can lead to serious back pain and spine issues. It is important to learn how to properly fit your child’s backpack now, and teach them proper posture, or they may suffer in the future.
No matter what age you are, you should practice backpack safety and protect your spine, because it affects all aspect of your health. I recommend regular chiropractic care for the whole family but taking care to pack and wear your backpack properly will make a major difference!
The shoulder straps on the backpack should be at least two inches wide and should be padded to ensure that it can hold heavy books sturdily and safely on the shoulders. Stress the importance of wearing both shoulder straps, as wearing just one can have long term affects to spine. Tighten the straps to where the pack sits no higher than the top of the shoulders and no lower than the top of the hip bone. Make sure it fits snugly on their back.
Also, if there is a belt, adjust it to fit comfortably and wear it when you wear the backpack!
A backpack should weigh no more than 10% of your body weight. For example, if your child weighs 100 pounds, they should carry a backpack that weighs 10 pounds or less. This will ensure the backpack is not too heavy and will not pull down on their shoulders and cause back and neck pain.
The heaviest items, such as books, should be placed at the back of the pack. The largest book should be placed firmly against their back, with smaller books placed in front of it. Oddly shaped items like pencil boxes should be placed at the very front of the pack.
Following these simple safety tips can help your child have a great and healthy school year!
Even when taking precautions, accidents can happen and back and neck pain is sometimes inevitable. If you or your child needs an adjustment or chiropractic care, contact me and I would love to help you!