Tips for kids!
“Backpacks Don’t Have to be Backbreaking!”
How do I help prevent pain for my child caused by improper backpack usage?
1. ◦Ensure your child’s backpack weighs no more than 5 to 10% of his or her body weight. By doing so, you will prevent the risk of slumping and poor posture.
1. ◦Get a backpack with compartments! This keeps the weight of the contents evenly spread.
1. ◦Make sure pointy and uneven objects in the backpack are pointed away from your child’s back. Only smooth surfaces should be against his or her back.
1. ◦Tell your child to use both shoulder straps, not just one. A backpack slung over one shoulder disproportionately shifts all of the weight to one side, and can cause not only neck and muscle spasms, but also low back pain.
1. ◦Padded shoulder straps are very important. They are more comfortable and help prevent the straps from digging into your child’s shoulders.
1. ◦Adjustable shoulder straps make it so that the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body. Shoulder straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably, and cause misalignment and pain.
1. ◦If the backpack is still too heavy, try leaving the heaviest books at school when possible, and bringing home only necessary workbooks and handouts.
1. ◦Talk to your child about the proper use of backpacks and help him or her understand why this is important. A child who is educated early in life on these issues can apply this knowledge late in life (at home or in the office) and as a result, your child will be happier and healthier.
By following these simple guidelines, you can greatly reduce your risk of injury.