Backpack safety sounds like something an over-protective mother would worry about. However, the weight of a child’s backpack is a big deal. We see them hanging in the stores right when Back to School season begins. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and come covered in your child’s favorite characters.
They are amazing tools that are incredibly helpful when they are used correctly. They are better than shoulder bags, messenger bags, or purses, because they use the strong muscles from the back and abdominals to support the weight. When they are worn correctly, weight is distributed evenly, preventing shoulder and neck injuries.
However, when weighed down with too many books, papers, and supplies, these handy bags can strain muscles and joints, causing pain. Doctors and physical therapists recommend that kids only carry backpacks that weigh no more than 10-15% of their body weight. Sadly, many kids carry much more than that.
This kind of weight carried year after year causes damage. When worn incorrectly on the shoulders, the weight can pull your child backward. To compensate, many kids bend forward at the hips or arch their back. This makes the spine compress unnaturally and can lead to issues in the shoulders, neck, and back. Wearing the backpack over just one shoulder forces your child to lean to one side to offset the weight of the backpack. This leads to strain on the upper and lower back, placing unnatural strain on the shoulders and neck.
So, we at Pinto Chiropractic & Rehabilitation encourage you to advocate for your child. If you feel that your child is carrying too much in their backpack, talk to them. Find out if they are making the choice to carry unnecessary items in their bags. If their teachers or administration has unrealistic expectations of what your child should carry, advocate for them.
Your child has a bright, beautiful future. Protect it!
If you have questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us at Pinto Chiropractic & Rehabilitation below, or call our office at 757-645-9022.
Drs. Anne & Bob
Robert and Anne Pinto started their journey on July 17th, 1989 when they first opened their practice.