BACK TO SCHOOL: Backpack Basics
Regardless if your child is off to college, high school or their first day of kindergarten one item on top of everyone’s back to school list is a backpack. Kids’ backpacks easily get weighed down and can quickly cause back & neck pain if they’re too heavy and carried all day.
Here are some backpack basics from your trusted team at First State Spine:
When buying a backpack, pay attention to the following:
- Avoid the Sling – we know all the cool kids have one, but this style puts all the weight on one shoulder, which can cause pain in the back and neck. Always go for two straps so weight is distributed evenly!
- The Straps – the straps of your child’s backpack should be wide and padded so they do not dig into shoulders.
- Think Lightweight – Everything going in the backpack is heavy enough, so the backpack itself should be light.
When wearing a backpack, prevent back pain by doing the following:
- Use those Lockers – encourage your child to make frequent stops at their lockers throughout the day and not carry everything with them all day.
- The 10% Rule – The AAOS recommends that a child shouldn’t carry a backpack that exceeds 15%-20% of their body weight. Use 10% as a conservative percentage, better safe than sorry!
- The Straps – The backpack should fall roughly two inches above your child’s waist so tighten the straps appropriately. In addition, use both straps to distribute the weight evenly.
- Use those Arms – remind your child that they don’t have to carry it all in their backpack. If for some reason they don’t have time to stop at their locker, they can carry a couple books in their arms.
The team at First State Spine wishes everyone a great school year ahead!
If you have back pain or back problems, make an appointment with one of First State Spine’s specialists for recommendations on which exercise program would be best for you.
It’s time to get a handle on your spine health and live free of pain! However, always check with your physician to see if these tips are safe to follow based on your health history.