Have you ever tried to lift your child’s backpack?
With textbooks, notebooks, three-ring binders, and now tablets your child is loaded too heavily. Over time carrying this extra weight, can cause back injuries and pain that might last into adulthood. Prevention is key and you as a parent can help.
This school year, choose an ergonomic backpack for your child—and make sure it fits just right so it won’t cause your child discomfort.
Buy a backpack that fits properly!
When you take children back-to-school shopping, they won’t base their decisions on ergonomics. Forget the superhero on the back of the bag and choose one that is the right size, first off. Too often children are walking around with backpacks 2 or 3 sizes too big for their backs. With too big of a bag children will find more stuff to place in them.
Dr. Walker encourages parents to start with the size of their back: From the shoulder blades to the waist that makes a rectangle, and that's where you want the backpack to sit.”
Avoid the temptation to buy a larger carrier that your little one can grow into over five or six years. You need a pack that fits your child right now.
Every day have your child unpack their knapsack and repack them the night before school, remove unneeded items.
Remember you want it to be snug, but not uncomfortable. Make sure your child doesn’t fling their bag over one shoulder or let it hang down below the back. Instead, it should sit comfortably in the middle of their back, without extending over the shoulders or past the top of the hip bones. This will prevent neck pain.
Your child should take regular breaks if they're wearing their backpack for long periods of time, which they will.
Good posture is a must: Stand up straight! Posture with a hunched back, a stance that lets the body fold in instead of keeping it straight is a large contributing factor to back pain. When putting on their backpacks, encourage your child to avoid lifting the backpack from the ground, but rather pack it on a tabletop and slip it on from there.
See your local chiropractor, for a spinal check up to support your child’s healthy back moving correctly.