Head Back-to-School with a Healthy Back
August 13, 2014
By Chiro One Wellness Centers
School is right around the corner (or here for some!), be smart this year with your child’s backpack. Review the below tips and make sure that your child’s backpack won’t cause injury to his or her growing spine. We wish you a safe and stress-free new year!
How Much Should Your Child’s Backpack Weigh?
Child’s weight X 15%
|50 lbs. x .15||=||7.5 lbs.|
|75 lbs. x .15||=||11.25 lbs.|
|100 lbs. x .15||=||15 lbs.|
|125 lbs. x .15||=||18.75 lbs.|
Tips on Backpack Safety
Concern over children carrying backpacks far too heavy for their little frames has been growing over the past few years. Experts believe backpacks weighing more than 15 percent of a child’s body weight put the child at risk for chronic back pain, back and neck strain, inflammation, accidents and potential long-term spinal damage.
- Always avoid bags or backpacks with one shoulder strap.
- Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Even better: pick up a rolling backpack, if your school allows them.
- Pack light. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 15% of your child’s body weight.
- Remind your child to make frequent stops at their locker, if they have one, to drop off books that they don’t need for their next class.
- Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items close to the center of the back.
- The backpack should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking. It should not cover more than three-quarters of the length of your child’s back.
- If your child is experiencing some back issues, ask the school if there is an extra set of his or her heaviest books and leave those at home.
- There are some visual tell-tale signs that your child’s backpack is too heavy or ill-fitted. Look for these red flags: forward head posture, one shoulder positioned higher than the other or tilted hips when standing.
- If you’re unsure if your child’s backpack could potentially cause problems, visit a chiropractor for a consultation.