School Back Pack
Daily carrying of a school back pack is a frequent cause of discomfort and pain in school age children. The most common postural and spinal problems we find in adolescents are: Forward head carriage, Slouching and increased kyphosis (increased curvature of the middle back) and uneven hips.
There are things you can do to minimise the effect of a heavy backpack on a child’s body and spine. Get a good fitting backpack, correct carrying of the backpack and watching your posture are things you can do to help.
What to look for in a backpack
- Make sure the backpack is the right size for your child, no wider than their chest and no lower than the hollow of their back.
- A moulded frame on the back, that when adjusted fits their spine.
- A bag made from a light weight material like canvas, with two padded straps.
- Adjustable waist and sternum straps.
- Separate compartments that allow for easy packing and weight distribution.
How to carry the backpack in a ‘spine-safe’ way
- Ensure that the weight of the backpack is no more than 10% of your child’s weight when packed. Only pack essentials to lessen the load, perhaps use school lockers if available.
- Pack the heaviest items closest to the spine and make sure all zippers are done up all the way.
- Secure the sternum and waist straps (they’re there for a reason).
- Always wear both straps, tell the kids it’s not cool to ‘one-strap it’ anymore.
- Reduce the time spent wearing the backpack to no more than 30 minutes at any one time.
More information can be found on www.chiropractors.asn.au