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Backpack safety for your child's back!

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Kids are heading back to school! That means many of them will be walking and carrying their backpacks to class filled with books and homework. As exciting as this time of year is, it’s important to remember those backpacks can actually cause back pain if they’re not worn or packed correctly.

This school year, we have your back when it comes to backpacks! Here is a short guide to help ensure your child is carrying their backpack correctly and safely.

Packing It Right:

If your child was assigned ‘a ton’ of homework – it’s important that they’re only carrying between 10 to 15 per cent of their body weight1. Spreading out the load evenly in the backpack will also help reduce the strain on your child’s back, neck and shoulders. Talk to your child about proper packing:

  • Heavier objects closer to the body, with light or odd-shaped objects furthest from the back.

  • Only pack what is needed for the day / evening; leaving the rest at home.

Wearing It Correctly:

Kids want to look cool and fit in with the crowd. Throwing a backpack over one shoulder casually may look good, but it can have long-term effects on the back such as changes in posture and walking habits. Show your child how to wear their bag properly, and instruct them about the possible risks of wearing it improperly and the effects it can have on the back:

  • Make sure your child is wearing both shoulder straps

  • Wearing a pack on one shoulder can cause leaning to one side, which could curve the spine over time

  • Adjust the straps so they fit close to the back – if it’s too loose it’s more difficult to achieve balance2.

How to Shop For a Backpack:

When you go out to shop for a new backpack, bring your child so you can ensure it fits.  The American Chiropractic Association3 recommends the bag should never hang more than four inches below the waistline. Bigger is not necessarily better. Look for packs that fit your child well so they can’t carry more than necessary, and note added compartments that can help them pack awkwardly shaped objects more efficiently. The straps should be padded to provide less painful support on the shoulders, and should be adjustable. Hip and chest belts can transfer some of the backpack weight from the back and shoulders to the hips and torso.

Let your child try on different backpacks in the store to ensure it fits them correctly, thus preventing strain on their back or shoulders4.

Join us on Monday, September 9th for a complimentary backpack fitting in-house @ 7:30pm. Visit our event’s tab to RSVP here:  www.kinesishealth.ca/events-calendar   

 

 

 

 

 

**https://www.chiropractic.ca/blog/back-to-school-2015-how-to-ensure-backpacks-are-safe-for-your-childs-back/

 

 

 

 

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