3 Backpack Safety Tips for Your Child’s Health
Now that Labor Day Weekend is over, so is summer. It is officially back to school time. Kids will be returning to the classroom, parents will get back into school time routines, and everyone’s commute will get just a little bit longer with the buses on the road. Something that I notice every year when school resumes is how big backpacks have become. Even little children in the lower grades are lugging around backpacks that are almost as large as they are, and this can take a toll on their health. Here are 3 simple tips to help your child’s physical health as they are going back to school:
- A child’s backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 5-10% of his or her bodyweight: Heavier backpacks cause children to bend forward in an attempt to support the weight on their back, rather than on the shoulders, by the straps.
- The backpack should never hang more than 4 inches below the waistline: A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing kids to lean forward when walking.
- Urge your children to wear both shoulder straps: Carrying the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck muscle spasms and low back pain.
Chronically carrying around heavy backpacks can lead to many postural changes. This is not good because children are already sitting often in school and spending a lot of time on different technologies. These activities also negatively affect posture. Poor posture with added weight can cause spinal stress. Many children unfortunately complain of low back pain, neck pain, numbness, tingling and headaches that can be traced back to postural changes. Heavy backpacks that are not carried correctly then enhance these issues. Another issue is that some children suffer from scoliosis, or curvature of the spine. Young children are the most vulnerable to the effects of scoliosis as they are growing. Additional postural problems caused by heavy backpacks do not help the situation.
As school gets back in session, it is very important to check your child’s backpack to make sure it is not doing damage to their spine. If you need a children’s chiropractic specialist in the Hatboro, Horsham, Warminster or Warrington communities for your kids who complain of aches, pains, or other problems associated with posture issues, then call 215-259-5100 to schedule a complimentary consultation. We will discuss whether it is something that we can help with and how we can get your child feeling and functioning well because they deserve to enjoy a fun and successful school year!