The ABCs of Backpacks
“What backpack do I buy for my daughter?” There are many companies that make very attractive packs but choosing the correct size and support options are keys for reducing strain on our kids. Even in Kindergarten last year she always had too much in that backpack and I cringed when I carried the heavy thing to the car and helped her put it on to enter school.
Students often have backpacks slung over their shoulders and are carrying daily twice the recommended weight on their little backs which can lead to stress injuries and spinal pain that worsens with age. Often I diagnose young children with cervical, thoracic and lumbar strain, spondylolysis, or an occasional stress fracture at the growth plate or in a vertebra.
To raise awareness of this issue, the spine care providers of the North American Spine Society came up with the ABC’s of Backpacking – tips for preventing backpack injuries. I would like to share these with you before school starts! Also please use the linked child wellness coupon to get your child examined, adjusted prior to school and a follow up wellness check at 6 months.
A: Allow wheels when at all possible and if the school allows it.
B: Back to basics with two wide straps and a waist strap for low back support and a chest strap to protect little ones sternum & rib from misalignment.
C: Comfort counts so make your student try it on and see if the straps adjust appropriately.
D: Don’t overload
E: Everything is too much so teach kids to pack only what is necessary and no more than 10-15% of their weight.
F: Fit your frame with both straps and adjust them snugly.
G: Get organized with heavy items toward back and smaller areas to distribute weight evenly.
H: Heavy hurts! Encourage kids to return to their cubby to switch books instead of carrying too much.
Click HERE to read the full article.