Backpacks are worn to school, from school, and sometimes even at school. That’s a significant amount of time that your child spends with extra weight on their back. Believe it or not, if backpacks aren’t properly designed or properly used, they can cause harmful back strain. Here are three tips that can help ensure your child’s backpack doesn’t give them any back problems:

1) Buy a properly fitting backpack

When you go backpack shopping don’t simply let your child pick the coolest one and head to the checkout. Make sure that the bag isn’t too big for their frame and that it comes with ample compartments which will allow them to pack everything in a sturdy and secure way. Look for padded and adjustable straps, as well chest and hip belts that can take some of the strain away from your child’s shoulders.

2) Encourage good backpack-wearing habits

Talk to your child about the importance of wearing their backpack properly using both shoulder straps, as slinging it over one shoulder may actually cause their spine to curve from leaning too much to one side. Straps should also be tight enough so that the backpack is snug to your child’s back. Backpacks should not hang more than 10 centimetres below the waist.

3) Teach your child how to pack safely

Children should be carrying no more than 15% of their body weight at a time, so make sure that their backpack is never too heavy on their way to and from school. Encourage them to leave unnecessary items at home and to only bring what they will need during the day. You should also teach your child to spread the weight of their items out throughout their backpack, and to pack larger, heavier items closer to their back.

Any More Questions? Ask a Chiropractor in Victoria, BC

You don’t want to take any risks if you suspect that your child’s backpack is causing them back pain. Victoria’s Synergy Health Centre is home to an integrated health and wellness team of physiotherapists, personal trainers, and chiropractors in Victoria, BC. Book an appointment for your child today if you have any concerns or if you simply have questions about how to help your children avoid future back problems.

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