Back to School: Choosing the correct back pack.
Here are 5 simple strategies to help your child avoid ‘Backpack Back’ and keep their spine and nervous system functioning at it’s best.
- The Correct Fit:
Avoid: A backpack that is too long. Children can be pulled backward which can increase the curve in their lower back, therefore creating more pressure on their spine and nervous system.
Tip: make sure your child’s backpack is no wider than their chest and should sit no lower than the small of their back.
Look for: a backpack with adjustable straps; make sure to adjust the straps to the right length for your child.
Backpacks should feel comfortable.
Avoid: Narrow straps that can dig into the shoulders
Tip: A back pack with wide padded straps made from a lightweight material will not dig in to the shoulders
Look for: Find a backpack with a molded insert or frame that follows the contour/shape of your child’s spine. This will help to support their posture while they are under load from the weight of the backpack.
Adjustable chest and waist straps can also help to distribute the weight of the backpack more evenly across your child’s body. By doing this it takes the pressure off the back, neck and shoulders and will also help to support their posture.
- Avoid Heavy Weights:
Tip: Help your child get organised and reduce weight by only packing the essentials and leaving extra items at school in lockers, desks or chair bags.
Look for: The backpack (inclusive of contents) should weigh no more than 10-15% of their body weight; you can estimate or use a bathroom scale to check this.
- Even Weight Distribution
Avoid: Using a single strap over one shoulder. This can put too much weight on one side causing you to lean more towards the opposite side to compensate for the weight in the bag. As a result this can lead to back, neck and shoulder strain injuries.
Tip: Pack the heaviest items closest to the spine and tighten straps as this helps to pull the weight of the bag closer to the body creating a better centre of gravity and therefore balance.
Look for: Back packs with multiple compartments, not only do compartments support organisation they also prevent contents from moving and help to distribute weight more evenly. Making sure that bags are fully zipped also assists with this.
Adjustable chest and waist straps can also help to distribute the weight of the backpack more evenly across your child’s body, taking pressure off the back, neck and shoulders and as well as helping to support their posture
Complimentary backpack, posture and shoe check:
Here at Global Chiropractic we are very passionate about assisting our clients in reducing and relieving stress from their nervous system.
We are now offering free back pack, posture and shoe checks for children starting or returning to school. This will ensure your child is correctly fitted and ready to commence the school year in the best way possible. We are also happy to provide you recommendations in regards to choosing the right backpack for your child.