7 Tips for Backpack Safety
Incorrect wear of backpacks and bookbags can also contribute to health problems including pain in the back, neck, and shoulders, or the development of poor posture. Making sure that your children wear their backpacks properly can help prevent pain and posture problems. Follow the seven backpack safety tips below to help your children wear their backpacks safely and correctly, and avoid over packing this school year.
7 Tips to follow to Keep Your Child Safe
Tip #1: Start with a lightweight backpack.
Make sure the backpack is made of a lightweight but durable material.
Tip #2: Make sure the shoulder straps are wide and padded.
Wide, padded straps provide support and prevent the straps from becoming too tight. Your child’s straps should be snug, but not so tight that they cause discomfort.
Tip #3: The back should also be padded.
Padding that sits against your child’s back will provide additional support and prevent discomfort.
Tip #4: Look for a backpack with a waist strap.
A waist strap holds the contents closer to your child’s back, which can help him or her maintain balance.
Tip #5: Multiple compartments are a plus.
If your child’s backpack has multiple compartments, it will be easier to evenly distribute the weight of the items inside. The heaviest items should be packed low and toward the center of the bag.
Tip #6: Both straps should be worn at all times.
Make sure your child is always wearing both straps. Wearing both straps can also help distribute the weight more evenly and prevent your child from leaning to one side, which can cause pain in the neck, back, or shoulders. It also makes losing his or her balance less likely.
Tip #7: Do not overload!
Your child’s backpack should weight no more than 15 percent of his or her total body weight. Anything more can force children to slouch or hunch to compensate for the extra weight. Remove any items that are unnecessary, and encourage your children to carry heavier items in their arms, if possible.
If your child complains of back pain or discomfort, be sure to take a look at what is in his or her backpack. Encourage your child to carry his or her backpack according to the steps above. Backpacks with wheels are also an option for children experiencing discomfort. If pain persists, it is recommended you follow up with your child’s doctor.
For more information, please visit the kids’ page for backpack safety. Make sure your child has a happy, healthy school year ahead. Visit our office to get checked.
It's that time of year again - Back to School!
Musculoskeletal pain and school bag use: a cross-sectional study among Ugandan pupils.
Mwaka ES, Munabi IG, Buwembo W, Kukkiriza J, Ochieng J. BMC Res Notes. 2014 Apr 9;7:222. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-7-222.
Backpacks may be seen as an easy way to carry books and other "scholastic materials".. but schoolbags are believed to contribute to back and other musculoskeletal problems for kids. This study set out to determine the prevalence of low back and other musculoskeletal pains, and to describe their relationship with schoolbag use for kids.
This study involved 532 students from six primary schools, with a mean age of 13.6 years. Only 19% had lockers at school.
Backpacks were the most common type of schoolbag and young children carried disproportionately heavier bags. Urban students carried significantly heavier bags, and were less likely to complain about schoolbag weight than the rural students.
Urban students carried significantly heavier bags, and were less likely to complain about schoolbag weight than the rural students. The majority of students complained of musculoskeletal pain, of which 35.4% was attributed to the schoolbags.
Teaching kids how to pack and carry their backpacks properly can prevent the pain and problems caused by carrying heavy backpacks. Contact our office to set up your visit.
Dr. Lizie Pilicy, Chiropractor and Nutritional Specialist, uses innovative holistic approaches to wellness incorporating mind, body, and spirit disciplines to assist with whole-being wellness.