As parents, our children’s safety and health are our top priorities. However, many times we do not realize how much our kids’ school backpacks weigh. A heavy or poorly fitted backpack can lead to lasting backaches, shoulder pain, and bad posture.
Kids that carry too much weight on them are also more at risk of injuries/falls from being off-balance. Ideally, the backpack should weigh no more than 10% of the child’s weight. For example, A 50-pound boy should carry a maximum of 7.5 pounds.
The Right Backpack for Your Child
The backpack should fit comfortably, and the weight should be distributed evenly across the back and shoulders. If you can find a backpack with shoulder straps and a waist belt, get it –these will help keep proper posture and spread the weight equally.
Trolley backpacks are ideal, and we think they are always in style. Trolley backpacks should weigh no more than 20% of the child’s weight.
It is not suggested to wear the backpack over just one shoulder, as this will lead to muscle pain and bad posture. The latter can become a habit that takes years to correct, if not medical intervention.
Encourage Them to Use the Lockers
If their school has lockers, you can encourage your children to leave their heaviest books and whatever they will not be needing that day in their lockers. This will greatly take off pressure and weight from their shoulders, literally and mentally. They will also be inspired to carry only what they need, hopefully, a skill that develops as they grow. As they say, "less is more."
Posture Is Everything
When picking up a heavier backpack, your kids (and you) should bend from your knees, not the spine.
It is important to teach your child proper posture, as this will reduce their risk of arthritis and other joint conditions later in life. Good posture allows the joints to grow evenly and the muscles to relax, which also reduces the risk of straining.
Remember that you are your kids’ example, so you need to practice good posture too. You can read all about posture here.
Proper sitting posture looks like this:
Chiropractic Care for Children
According to research, most children receive chiropractic services for musculoskeletal problems. However, 10% go for non-musculoskeletal issues, such as asthma, headaches, and illness prevention.
While spinal manipulation is the most common therapy delivered, additional services include exercises, soft tissue treatment, postural guidance, and nutritional advice.
Spinal manipulation, or a spinal adjustment, is a safe and controlled force that is applied to a joint to restore and promote its range of motion and proper function. You can read more about chiropractic care for children here.
In the 34 years of Dr. K’s practice, hundreds of children have been able to recover from everything, from birth trauma to chronic ear infections. Many pediatric patients are referred by Pediatricians and other specialists.