Are your kids wearing their backpacks correctly?

Backpack Saftey Tips

Tis the season as they say. No, I’m not talking Christmas rather the beginning of school. Kids across the nation will be packing tons of weight to and fro, mostly the wrong way. This is one of the biggest contributor to increased back and neck pain in children that I see in my office. Even with the adaptation of technology into the classroom, children are carrying more than ever. Most people never equate the importance of how it’s even packed. I can remember being a kid and just stuffing all my items for the day, books and soccer gear. I never payed attention to what order and where things were placed. Most of the time, I rushed out the door (most of the time running late) and prayed that I had everything I needed. Now I know differently and I wanted to share some tips that will not only help your child with the load, you’ll be protecting their developing spines.

Here are some healthy tips and points to look for:

  1. Keep it light– A backpack and its contents should equal no more than 10% of your son or daughter’s weight. So if your child weighs 100 lbs., they should only carry 10 lbs.
  2. Keep it tight– The backpack is designed to be worn snug on the individual’s back. It is common among school aged kids to wear the pack loose, sometimes well below the belt line. My recommendation is to wear the backpack no lower than 3″ below the waistband.
  3. Keep it right-Anymore, backpacks come equipped with multiple compartments allowing the owner to distribute the weight into additional regions. Additionally, when packing the pack with books and supplies, place the heavier, larger books closer to the body with the smaller items furthest away.
  4. Sized right?– Bigger is not always better. The more room that’s available means there’s more to carry.
  5. Encourage your children to wear both of the shoulder straps to help distribute the weight properly.