Backpack Safety Tips From Orange Chiropractor
Back to school season can be exciting and busy, making it easy to forget the little things. For example, backpack safety. There’s a lot you might not know about your child’s backpack that could be hurting them physically and mentally. Now that it’s October and the Back to School craze is finally beginning to calm down, top Orange chiropractor David Durso takes a minute to talk about backpack health.
Over 21,000 students a year suffer from backpack injuries. That’s a lot! If a backpack is too heavy, packed incorrectly, or not adjusted properly on a child’s back, the child could be suffering as a result. When a pack is too heavy, the child tends to hunch over with their shoulders pushing forward to compensate for the weight of the pack. Leaning forward with the weight of the pack can cause hip soreness, mid to lower back pain, and knee problems. Poor posture could also potentially cause Scoliosis. But Scoliosis and physical pain aren’t the only things your child’s chiropractor is concerned about. Is your child experiencing headaches, ADHD, low energy, trouble concentrating, ear infections, allergies or asthma? Any of these could be a result of an abnormality in their posture.
Preventing Spinal Abnormalities in Children in Orange CT
A way we can prevent postural abnormalities from occurring in our children’s spines at Balanced Health Family Chiropractic is to make sure their backpacks aren’t overpacked. Check their class schedule, do they need all their books every day? Maybe they don’t have History class until Thursday, so that book can stay home or in their locker. Empty their backpack at least once a week to make sure they’re not overpacking it.
The heaviest books should be centered in the middle of their pack. And their backpack should not weigh any more than 15% of the child’s body weight. For example, if your child weighs 60lbs, their backpack should weigh 9lbs. If your child weighs 100lbs, their backpack should weigh 15lbs. If your child weighs 140lbs, their pack should weigh 21lbs, and so on and so forth. Be sure to weigh your child’s backpack on your home scale.
Also, make sure the child is wearing both straps of the backpack and not slinging it over one shoulder. Adjust the straps so the pack sits high on the child’s back. If it lands below the waist, it is not high enough. The pack should land about an inch above the child’s hips. If the backpack has extra straps for the chest and/or waist, use them! This provides extra support and relieves shoulder pressure. The backpack should not be swaying from side to side. It should be tight to their back and they should still be capable of standing up straight with the pack on.
If you have any further questions concerning your child’s backpack habits, or think your child might be suffering from a backpack induced injury, contact your Orange chiropractor and schedule an appointment for a posture check ASAP! Enjoy the new school year! Be sure to check back next month for our next blog!