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Backpack Safety – Protect Their Spines!

Backpacks are often linked to back pain reported by school-aged kids and often can progress later in life into chronic back problems. In 2015, over 10,000 children were seen in the emergency room due to backpack – related injuries. Backpack safety will not only help protect our kids’ spines from pain and further damage, but ensure they are at their best to learn and grow!

Features backpacks should have:

·         Wide, padded shoulder straps-the wider straps distribute the weight more evenly and the padding provides comfort.

·       Lumbar support strap-backpacks are often difficult to find with the lumbar strap, but if you can definitely get one!

·         Adjustable straps-make sure the straps can adjust to properly fit your child.

·         Correctly sized for your child -It should fit between the shoulders and waistline. Don‘t buy an oversized backpack with the intent to keep it as they grow. You’ll actually end up saving more in the end by saving their backs!

·         Compartments to safely keep items from jostling around and shifting the weight, but not too many to overload. Sometimes if there are too many compartments, kids try to overfill their backpacks!  A child’s backpack should only weigh 10-15{2c3391cbf05b53d5566dfbef99f8eba4ee55c1cb4e0f1962d6127c94cfa87601} of the child’s weight – that means a 50 pound kindergartner’s backpack should only weigh 5-7 pounds.

Backpack Safety

Backpack Safety – wearing the correct backpack the correct way is key!

 

Correct way to wear a backpack:

·         Wear shoulder straps over both shoulders. This keeps the backpack square on their backs, creating even pressure and weight on the shoulders and neck.

·         Wear the lumbar strap snug around waist. The lumbar strap keeps the backpack from pulling on the shoulders and more evenly distributes the weight.

·         Tighten straps so the backpack is snug against the child’s back. However, make sure they aren’t too tight!

·         Only put the necessities in the backpack. If there are books and items that can be left at school or home, do so! Only take the things that are needed for that day.

·         Pack the heavier items low and as centered as possible.

 

 Other ways to be proactive about your child’s spine:

·         Talk to them frequently about how their back is feeling. If they are having back pain, evaluate their backpack and adjust as needed.

·         Consult with a chiropractor. A chiropractor can not only help assess proper backpack fit, but address any existing issues with the spine.

·         Contrary to popular belief, spine health goes beyond the physical. Make sure your kids are eating a well-balanced diet of whole foods, moving their body in a positive way and addressing any stress they may be enduring.

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s spine health or their backpack safety, please give us a call! We would be happy to do a consultation free of charge!

 

Post by: Kalie Crespin

 

 We are committed to educating and inspiring individuals and families to cultivate health and healing throughout their lives.

Dr. Erik and Dr. Patricia

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