The start of the school year is often when we get an influx of rightfully concerned parents, worried about the weight of their child’s heavy school backpack. Current recommendations suggest that a child’s backpack should not exceed 10% of their body weight.
Although back pain in children is a lot less common than in adults, there are a number things we can do as parents to ensure our children stay pain-free, with happy healthy spines!
Here are some simple hints and tips for correctly selecting and fitting your child’s back pack:
- Ensure the backpack is the correct size. When the shoulder straps are adjusted, the bottom of the backpack should be above your child’s waist – not hanging over the buttock.
- Get an adjustable backpack. Every kid is different, so make sure the backpack can be adjusted to suit your child’s frame, and change as they grow!
- Look for features such as a moulded frame and/or hip strap, so that the weight of the contents can rest against your child’s pelvis instead of their shoulders and spine.
- Ensure their backpack is fitted correctly. It should be snugly fitted over both shoulders and should comfortably fit the contour of their back. Don’t have the backpack hanging low off their shoulders.
- Fill their backpack appropriately. Pack the heaviest items closest to their spine, which will help balance the load. Also using the backpacks compartments if you have them, will help stop the load moving around.
I hope you find this information helpful. If you are concerned or just want a spinal check-up for your child, feel free to contact us at the clinic to book a chiropractic appointment.