Back to School Tips: Choosing the Right Backpack
The summer nights are starting to get shorter and the air is becoming more crisp, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to start preparing the kids to go back to school. Victoria Chiropractor Dr. Stephanie Louie recommends that parents be very thoughtful when choosing a backpack because choosing the wrong one can lead to negative health implications on children’s growing and developing bodies. Children can suffer from back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain from carrying a backpack that is not fitted right for them. This can alter their posture or gait which can further cause long-term health problems.
Make sure that your child’s back is safe this school year by following these easy tips:
The weight of the backpack should be 10 – 15 percent of the body weight of the child. Only pack what you need
Load evenly – textbooks and other heavy items should be closest to the centre of the back to stabilize the child’s centre of gravity
Both straps should be worn to prevent leaning to one side; this can harmfully curve the spine
Straps should be tightened so that the backpack fits close to the body
Try to find a backpack with straps that can go across the chest and the top of the hips to help distribute the load
Choose a backpack that does not hang below the waistline more than a few inches
Reduce wearing times – if the child does not have to wear the backpack, encourage them to put it in a safe place
The suggestions and advice provided by Dr. Louie should not be relied upon in place of a chiropractic professional assessment.