Backpack Safety

School is officially back in session. Every September, the issue of heavy backpacks and back pain in kids and teens is brought up. Here are some general tips with regard to backpack safety and avoiding injury:

  1. Pick the right backpack, making sure the shoulder straps are padded. It should be the right size for the child. The bottom of the bag should not sag too far below the belt line.
  2. If possible, avoid loading it too heavily. 15 to 20% of the child's body weight should be the most that the backpack weighs. In some situations when a school aged child has been having back or neck pain, I've been able to write a note requesting another set of books, so that a set could be kept at home and not need to be carried to and from school. If a heavy backpack is unavoidable, you may consider a backpack that has wheels and an extendible handle.
  3. Practice proper lifting techniques when lifting the backpack from the floor. Check my previous blog on this subject.
  4. Make sure the backpack is fastened high and tight, so that it doesn't sag. Use both shoulder straps, not carrying the bag on just one shoulder.
  5. Load the backpack with the heaviest items closest the the childs body. Use the various compartments to do this. This will help more evenly distribute the weight.

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InLine Chiropractic
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Simi Valley, CA 93065
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