Helping kids of all ages to live a more active life through FUNctional movement.
It’s back to school season! If a new backpack is on the wish list this year, here’s a handy checklist of features to look for in a backpack to ensure sure you’re making a choice that is pediatric chiropractor-approved for developing spines!
1. Material: choose a backpack made of a lightweight material such as vinyl or canvas to avoid adding extra weight to the bag.
2. Straps: shoulder straps should be wide to distribute the load, and adjustable to properly fit your child as they grow. Straps should be adjusted snug enough that they don’t dangle to the side, but you should be able to fit your hand between the backpack and your child’s back. It’s also important to encourage your child to wear both straps and not just one – that imbalance overtime is not good! For older kids who may need to carry slightly heavier backpacks, a waist or hip strap is also helpful. This helps to better distribute the weight.
3. Padding: the back of the bag as well as the shoulder straps should be well-padded for comfort.
4. Pockets: plenty of pockets helps with even weight distribution!
5. Pack Light! Remember, even the best backpack can’t prevent injuries from carrying too much. The total weight of a backpack should not be more than 10-15% of your child’s weight. A few things you can think about if your child needs to carry more items is to get a backpack with wheels and a handle, or they can carry their lunch bags or other heavy items in a separate bag out of their backpacks.
Once your child or teen is back to school and start to complain or mention they are feeling discomfort or pain in their shoulders, neck or back from their backpacks, you try and incorporate the recommendations above, or get them some help. You can book in with a pediatric chiropractor or physiotherapist here at Play On Pediatric Therapy in Barrhaven, Ottawa, Ontario for an assessment to see what is going on and how to best address it.