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5 Tips on Backpack Safety from Trusted Chiropractors

As summer ends, we begin to turn our attention to the new school year.  While school supplies are important, one of the most important things needed for your child is a proper backpack. 

So, which backpack do you buy? 

Your child may be a 6-year-old and in 1st grade or you may have a high school daughter who wants a cool new backpack for the upcoming year.  Do you choose the most ergonomically correct pack or choose the latest new style?  What does ergonomic even mean?  It can all be too much!

Finding the right backpack is definitely a challenge.  To help, our chiropractors have shared some tips on what to look for when back to school shopping for that perfect backpack.  

Rules to follow:

  1. Look for thick, cushioned straps that will sit high on the shoulder of your child.  Adjust the straps on your child’s shoulders so that the backpack is resting on muscle and not the outer bones of your child's shoulders.  
  2. Some space between your child's back and the backpack is needed.  Position the straps so that roughly 2-3 inches of space is between their low back and the backpack.  This allows for adequate airflow and spacing.  
  3. Too much weight is a challenge with all the materials children are bringing home for school work these days.  The American Chiropractic Association recommends that a backpack be filled with no more than 10-15% of your child's weight.  For example, a 100lb child should only have 10-15lbs of weight no his or her back.  If that seems impossible, then a rolling backpack may be a better option.  If your child is asked to carry more weight than is recommend and a rolling backpack is not allowed, then you may consider buying more than one of the same book.  That way, your child can have one copy at school and the other at home.   
  4. Ask your child to place in their backpack the appropriate items needed for school only.  Leave the extra toys, nicknacks, and doodads at home.  
  5. Finally, adjust the straps so that they are pulling inward and not just downward.  When looking from the back, your child's backpack straps should resemble the top of an X more than an H.  This places less pressure on your neck and allows your child more movability while wearing their backpack.   

If you or your child suffer from pain associated with wearing a backpack, then let the trained professionals at BBC Health help you.  We take an integrated team approach to healthcare by allowing our medical and chiropractic providers to work together to better serve you.  We are a primary care clinic providing family and physical medicine treatments to all ages. 

Contact us today to schedule your appointment and see how we can best serve you.


Dr. Angel Rivas

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