As kids are fast approaching the end of the first term of school, it’s a great opportunity to reassess your child’s backpack. And as parents, I’m sure you know, children often choose a bag based on its fashion merits, but here is what you really need to take into consideration when choosing a backpack for your child.
As your children grow, it may seem that each year they are required to carry around more and more in their backpacks. There have been numerous studies that have shown that this repetitive stress can lead to muscle strains and postural changes, which can lead to acute and longer related spinal complaints. Studies have also shown that adult spinal disorders and back pain may stem from childhood activities such as carrying heavy backpacks. Children of school age have a body that is still developing and growing, therefore it is so important to choose a bag that suits your child’s physical frame, as well as the size and weight they are expected to lug around each day. I have put together some tips on what to look for when buying a backpack for your child:
– Wide, thick and adjustable shoulder straps. Encourage your child to wear both shoulder straps. Never let them sling it over one shoulder!
– The bag should start just below the shoulders and extend no lower than the top of their buttocks.
– The bag should be no wider than the child’s chest.
– Choose a bag with a waist strap. This will help distribute a large amount of the weight across the hips and pelvis. Relieving pressure from other parts of the spine.
– Multiple compartments. So, items can be distributed evenly, placing the heavy items at the very back, close to the spine.
This, combined with long periods of sitting and the growing use of smart phones and tablets all contribute to an increase load on your child’s spine every day. Our centre has been helping manage neck and back pain in children for many years. If you need further advice on this topic, call us to book in for a Complimentary Assessment to see how chiropractic may help your child.
Dr Emily Udiljak