Did you know more than half of students today are carrying a backpack that is too heavy!
In my 26 years of seeing children in our clinic I must say that there are young children and young adults developing poor posture which will have a negative effect on their health as they get older. Problems such as back pain, neck and shoulder pain, and headaches are just a few problems that will develop from a too heavy and an improperly worn back pack.
Follow these safety tips to help your children and grand children wear their backpacks safely and correctly.
Tip # 1 Start with a lightweight backpack
Make sure the backpack is made of lightweight but durable material
Tip # 2 Make sure shoulder straps are wide and padded
Wide padded straps provide good support. The straps should be strong 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.
Tip # 4 Look for a backpack with a waist strap
A waist strap holds the content closer to your child’s back for better balance.
Tip # 5 Multiple compartments are a plus
With multiple compartments its easier to distribute the weight. Keep heavier items toward the center of the bag.
Tip # 6 Both straps should be worn at all times
they will also help to distribute the weight of the backpack.
Tip # 7 Do not overload
Your child’s backpack should not weigh more than 15% of his or her own body weight. Encourage your children to carry heavier items in their arms if possible.
*Side note – Backpacks with wheels are also an option for children experiencing discomfort.
Examples of backpack weight:
For a 48 lb child 15% is 7 lbs
For a 60 lb child 15% is 9 lbs
For a 76 lb child 15% is 11 lbs
If you have any questions or your son or daughter is having any back or neck pain don’t hesitate to give Dr. Frazetta a call or just stop in and he will show you how to wear the backpack!