Don’t Let Your Children’s Backpacks Weigh Them Down

kids wearing backpack walking with a guardian

Your children’s school backpacks are supposed to make carrying things easier. When worn incorrectly, however, these could cause your kids to adopt awkward postures that might lead to spine and chronic pain issues later on.

Below are essential things you should know about the health risks of wearing backpacks incorrectly and what you can do to protect your children’s back.

The Link Between Back Pain and Backpacks

Carrying a backpack that is too heavy or wearing one incorrectly could be a significant factor for pain, muscle sores, fatigue and discomfort particularly in the lower back. Injuries could likewise occur when your children adopt awkward postures, like shifting weight to just one side or arching their back, to accommodate the weight of a heavy backpack.

If your kids are significantly small for their age or have a history of back pain or injury, speak to your pediatrician in Salem regarding specific exercises that can help strengthen their back.

Basic Backpack Carrying Rules and Buying Tips

To reduce the chances of your children developing pain and injury when carrying a backpack to and from school, follow these handy tips.

  • Always wear the two straps. – So many people, regardless of age, complain about shoulder and neck pain when carrying a heavy backpack and the simplest solution to this is to always wear both straps. Speaking of the straps, opt for straps that are padded so your children can carry the backpack more comfortably. Avoid backpacks with narrow straps that will surely dig into the skin when the bag is heavy. Keep the straps close to your children’s back and make sure that they have the same length for even weight distribution.
  • Pay attention to the weight of the backpack. The weight of a backpack should ideally be only about 10% to 15% of its wearer’s body weight, even less if possible. Make sure to place the heaviest items in the backpack’s back portion, so it rests against your children’s back.
  • Opt for a backpack with some structure. Good quality backpacks usually have plastic frame sheets and a padded back for some rigidity and structure to help distribute the load of the bag. When buying a new backpack for your kids, consider the structure of the bag.
  • Have your children wear a waist belt. This can help take some of the load off their shoulders. Having support in this section can help reduce back and neck pain.
  • Say no to rolling backpacks especially if your kids’ school have plenty of stairs. While it could help with lugging the bag around, lifting it every single time your children need to climb up and down the stairs will be worse for their back.

smiling young boy wearing a backpackThe bottom line: a high-quality backpack, keeping in mind that your kids will follow the rules for carrying it, will help them bear the weight of their backpack more comfortably and protect them from pain and injury. So if your kids are having problems with their backpack, buy them a new one pronto.

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