It’s that time of year again…BACK to school! The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has recently published some information about backpacks and spinal health that I think you guys might find helpful with the kids going back to school this week.
#1. Make sure the backpack is the correct size. Sometimes it is easy to reuse the backpack from the previous year however kids can grow like weeds at a young age. Also, bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry, and therefore the heavier the backpack will be.
#2 Choose a backpack with wide padded straps for comfort. They will be wearing this backpack for hours everyday for the whole school year- you want to make sure it is comfortable not just stylish.
#3 Adjustable straps are preferred. Make sure that the bottom of the backpack is NO MORE than 4 inches lower than the waistline. If you notice your child is leaning backwards with the backpack on, the straps may need to be tightened.
#4 Make sure your child understands the importance of using BOTH straps. It may be easier and look cooler to use only one of the straps however it is important to use both to prevent both muscular and structural imbalances in your child’s developing spine.
#5 The backpack and contents should weigh no more than 10% of your child’s body weight. For example, if your child weighs 80 pounds the backpack should not weight more than 8 pounds. Most parents are surprised that their child’s backpack can weigh upwards of 15-20 pounds with all of the books/laptop inside! If you notice your child hunching over with rounded shoulders then the backpack may need to be lighter. You can always talk to your kids teachers and ask if your child could leave the heaviest books at school, and bring home only lighter hand outs or workbooks.
I hope this helps!!! If this blog was of any value, please share with a friend or two that could benefit from this information… And if you need any help with backpack checks or spinal checks please give us a call at 278-YOST