Many of you have heard the term back pack safety but do you know how your child should be using their backpack? Aches and pains, injuries and even potential future problems in young children can often be attributed to the incorrect use of back packs.
“In a recent survey by the American Academy of Orthopedics, 71% felt that backpacks are a clinical problem for children and 58% of the doctors reported seeing youngsters whose back and shoulder pains could be attributed to carrying backpacks that were too heavy for them.”
Tips for back pack safety
- · Children should carry no more than 5-10% of their body weight (adults up to 15%)
- · Keep the heaviest items closest to the back
- · Distribute the load evenly from left to right
- · Use both shoulder straps
- · Strengthen the lower back and abdominal muscles
- · Use the waist strap if the bag has one
- · Adjust backpack so the bottom of the bag is about 1-2 inches above waist
What To Look For In a Backpack
- · Wide, heavily padded shoulder straps that are easy to adjust
- · Waist straps to keep the backpack fitting close to the body
- · Separate compartments to help distribute the load evenly
- · Try it on for comfort to see how it feels
My Child Has Back Pain, Now What?
If the pain is gone by Monday morning, this is a good sign the backpack was causing the problem. Follow guidelines given in this article.
Heavy backpacks can cause postural distortions in your child’s spine that may cause pain or lead to pain in the future. Have your child evaluated by a chiropractor to check for scoliosis or any other structural problems.
Whether your child has back pain or not, an ill-fitting or incorrectly worn backpack can cause stress on the body that may not show up for years.