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Back To School Backpack Safety

The kids are headed back-to-school and backpacks can cause serious health problems to children if they’re not worn correctly. So today we are going to share some tips and Q&A on backpack safety.

What kind of long-term effects are we doing to their back and their shoulders and their necks?

backpack safetyWith heavy backpacks they can start leaning forward causing uneven muscle development causing them to lean forward, having an anterior head carriage. If they carry it on one shoulder, muscle development that’s totally imbalanced, pulling the spine to one side more than the other can be really serious.

Is there a good way and a bad way to wear a backpack?

Yes, the backpack should not be hanging that low. The straps should be balanced out on both shoulders. Kids should always have both straps on their shoulders. With a backpack that is too heavy, it will cause the child to lean forward more. The ratio of weight for a backpack they say is 10% of the child’s body weight is an ideal amount for them to carry. Some of the schools are having children carry more stuff, so just try to balance it. Keep all of the heavy stuff closer to the body so that it’s not hanging out. If they have a waist strap, it’s good to put that on so that they can help balance it. If they have a cross-body backpack, that will keep it from swaying which will throw the body out of alignment also and cause pain.

What should you look for in a backpack?

You should be looking for something that fits. It should not be easy to get on and off the shoulders. You want to have that cinched up.  It is improtant to get something that fits their body, a little bit above the waist or right at about the waist. You want to make sure that it’s up and tight, and it’s not drooping in the back. Again the heavy weighted items toward the spine or toward the back, and then everything else. If there is a waist strap, that will help keep it secure against their body.

A lot of schools use tablets, is there a good way and bad way to use electronics?

What you need to do if your kid uses a table or phone to study, is have some kind of device that helps them hold the phone, a pop socket or anything, keep the phone or tablet at eye level. It keeps the spine aligned, keeps less pressure through the neck and the upper back.  This should be practiced at all times, not just during school.

When do we as parents know there is a problem or when to see a chiropractor? ,

If you look at your child’s posture and they’re really hunched over, if you look see their head is forward just in a normal stance, you want to get that corrected. If they complain about neck pain, back pain any of those things. If you look at them and the muscles are a little overdeveloped on one side. You may consider getting your child checked out even before there is a problem just for preventative measures.  Right now, Discover Health and Wellness Aurora is offering a New Patient Special that includes a consultation, exam, and adjustment.  So if you are needing some extra tips or information, give visit one of our locations!