Kid’s Backpack Safety

10 Tips For Choosing Your Child’s Backpack

Have you ever noticed your child leaving the house for school in the morning looking like Quasimodo?

A book bag or backpack worn improperly or excessive in weight can “put children at increased risk for spinal injury” says Mary Ann Wilmarth, PT, DPT, MS, OCS, director of the transitional doctor of physical therapy degree at Northeastern University in Boston. According to Wilmarth, “the most common ailment among working Americans adults is back pain.”

With as many as 7,500 students across the country being treated for backpack related injuries each year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, clinicians, lawmakers and school boards alike have begun to weigh in on the issue of backpack safety and will determine how to take protective measures so children don’t injure themselves carrying their books. Proposals that have been suggested include school districts issuing separate sets of heavy textbooks for in-school and at-home use, setting maximum weight standards for textbooks, and e-text or online textbook options.

“Heavy backpacks have an obstructive impact on the posture and spinal health of children,” says Dr. Jerry DeGrado, National Backpack Safety Chairman of the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations. Children’s bones and joints are still developing and we don’t want them to put excessive strain on their bodies from carrying too much weight and walking with improper posture. Many health care professionals see the effects of poor posture everyday in clinical practice and if these adults had been taught correct postural alignment when they were kids – they would not be in as much pain as they are now!

Teach your children how to properly ‘strap-up’ in the morning to ensure a reduced risk of back pain.

Here are 10 backpack tips to help straighten out your little ones before they end up in pain!

Pack Selection – What kind of backpack should you get for your child?

(An aside note: a bag with reflective material makes the wearer more visible to drivers at night.)

Pack Placement – How should your child wear a backpack?

Pack Stocking – How much weight is too much?

Help your children ‘take a load off’ this school season by teaching them how to think safe when it comes to their backpacks.

If these ergonomic backpack tips and tricks are instilled at a young age, they will become second nature to your loved ones and hopefully help to prevent them from having to seek out a chiropractor or massage therapist for nagging back pain relief!

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