Backpack Safety

As students head back to school, it's important to remember the importance of backpack safety. Carrying a heavy backpack can put a strain on the neck, shoulders, and back, leading to pain and discomfort. Here are some tips to help ensure that your child is carrying their backpack safely:

Choose the Right Backpack

When selecting a backpack, look for one that is appropriately sized for your child's body. The backpack should not be wider than your child's torso and should not hang more than 4 inches below the waist. Additionally, choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps that distribute the weight evenly across the shoulders. Backpacks that clip together around the chest or abdomen help hold the weight to the child's back helping to distribute weight  

Pack Wisely

Encourage your child to pack their backpack wisely, putting heavier items at the bottom and distributing weight evenly. Avoid overloading the backpack and only pack what is necessary for the day. Consider using a rolling backpack if your child has to carry a lot of heavy items. Heavy items should be against the back. 

Wear the Backpack Correctly

Make sure your child is wearing the backpack correctly to avoid putting unnecessary strain on the back and shoulders. Both shoulder straps should be used and adjusted so that the backpack fits snugly against the body. The backpack should be worn on both shoulders, not just one, to distribute the weight evenly.

Use Good Posture

Encourage your child to use good posture when carrying their backpack. They should stand up straight and avoid slouching or leaning forward. Remind them to use their abdominal muscles to support their back when lifting the backpack.

Take Breaks

Encourage your child to take breaks throughout the day to give their back and shoulders a rest. If they have to carry the backpack for a long period of time, suggest that they take it off and rest it on a chair or table when possible.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your child is carrying their backpack safely and avoiding unnecessary strain on their back and shoulders. Backpack safety is an important part of maintaining good spinal health and can help your child stay comfortable and pain-free throughout the school year.

Dr. John Giusti, creating healthy habits at ChiroHabit. 

Posted 6/20/2023