How can you minimize the strain on your child’s back when they go back to school? By choosing a better backpack to protect their backs. And by adjusting the books, tools they need and random things that they collect every day that can make a bag heavy and hard to carry.
A heavy backpack can lead to a slumped posture for your child and more importantly, weaken his or her spine!
Kids Backpacks Options
Shoulder bags– are typically worn over one shoulder and consequently, can cause muscle strain and pain.
Messenger bags– are better because the strap is on one shoulder and the bag is on the opposite side’s hip. These can cause strain on the neck or bruise the hip when the bag is very heavy. It’s best to alternate sides so the bag is worn equally on both shoulders.
Wheelee bags (similar to luggage)– put less strain on the spine and back than the options so far, but can be cumbersome and hard to maneuver up and down stairs. Prolonged one sided pulling of the bag can also cause discomfort.
Knapsacks (or backpacks)– when worn properly, evenly distribute weight. Because of this, they are the best kind of carry all that a child can wear, as long as it’s worn and packed properly!
How To Choose The Best Backpack
First, what kind of backpack you should buy?
One that has lots of pockets around the sides so items can be distributed more evenly. Make sure that the knapsack is made of a lightweight material, such as canvas or vinyl, so that the backpack not too heavy when it’s empty. It should have two wide shoulder straps.
Waist or hip straps are also important when choosing a backpack. And don't forget, the size of the backpack needs to be proportionate to the size of the wearer! Look for toxin-free backpacks, too.
Next, what’s the best way to pack it?
Most kids wear a bag that is much too heavy for their bodies. In fact, adults often need two hands to lift one up! It is generally agreed that a child's knapsack should weigh only 10-15% of his/her body weight.
For example, an 80 lb student’s backpack should weigh 8-10 lbs. This is not impossible! Pack only what they need for the day, and to make it more comfortable, pack the heavier, flatter items closest to their body while storing the bulkier, oddly shaped ones on the outside or at the top of the bag, away from their back.
Now, how to wear the backpack safely?
Place the bag on an even surface that's at waist height for your child, with the straps close to the edge of the surface. Slip the bag on your child, one shoulder strap at a time, and then adjust them so they fit comfortably.
The pack should fit snugly against their back with the space to slide your hand between the bag and their back. Using the waist straps will increase stability and help distribute the pack’s weight evenly. Please remember never to wear a heavy backpack over one shoulder. With practice, it will become second nature for your kids to pack and wear their backpack properly.
These tips will help your children avoid muscle aches, tiredness, back pain or even headaches allowing them to be more alert and even enjoy school!
If your child is already suffering from any of these symptoms, seek the advice of a chiropractor who focuses on children.