5 Tips for Backpack Use

Has your child ever mentioned how heavy their backpack is for school? There is a strong connection between an overloaded backpack and back pain. It is important that children learn how to use backpacks correctly and safely in order to avoid back pain. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) offers many great tips in properly using a backpack. 15860029

  • Use both shoulder straps

Many children casually sling their backpack over just one shoulder. This can cause them to lean to one side and add stress to their spine. Encourage your child to use both shoulder straps in order to more equally carry their loaded pack.

  • Keep the weight under 10% of the child’s body weight

This is a simple rule of thumb for you and your child to follow. It is recommended by the ACA that a school bag should not weigh more than 10% of an individual’s body weight. This may mean that you will have to encourage your child not to overpack their bag but only pack the necessary books and materials that they will need.

  • Look for padded shoulder straps

Padded shoulder straps will add more comfort as opposed to non padded straps. This extra comfort will help encourage children to wear both straps and will help soften the burden of the weight that they are carrying.

  • Adjust the shoulder straps properly

Adjusting a backpack so that it is not too loose fitting is helpful. If a backpack is too loose, or if it is hanging too low, it can cause a child to have to adjust their posture to compensate or counterbalance. This can eventually lead to back pain. Make sure you help your child adjust their backpack for the best comfort possible.

  • Take advantage of multiple compartments

All of those little pockets and compartments are helpful for organizing, but they can also help to spread out the weight of the materials inside the bag. It is important to pack the bag so that it will rest comfortably on your child’s back, so be attentive to how those bulky objects are packed inside the bag.

If you or your child experience back pain as a result of using a backpack, it may be helpful to see a chiropractor. Dr. Supnick of the Chiropractic Center of Kennesaw is an expert in working with children and adults. He is able to help provide pain relief for patients of all sizes and ages. Call us at 770-262-1909 or use our Request an Appointment form to contact us.

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