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Backpack Safety Tips

Backpack Safety Tips

We have seen ever-increasing incidents of young children developing back and neck pain. One of the biggest stressors to children’s spines is their backpack and how it is worn. Half of all schoolchildren are hefting overweight backpacks to school and back every day, leading to spinal stress and increased chances of developing neck pain, back pain, headaches and even scoliosis.

The American Chiropractic Association offers the following tips to help prevent the needless pain that backpack misuse could cause the students in your household.

  • Make sure your child's backpack weighs no more than 15% of his or her bodyweight. A heavier backpack will cause your child to bend forward in an attempt to support the weight on his or her back, rather than on the shoulders with the straps.

  • The backpack should never hang more than 4 inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.

  • A backpack with individualized compartments helps in positioning the contents most effectively. Make sure pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child's back.

  • Bigger is not necessarily better. The more room there is in a backpack, the more your child will carry and the heavier the backpack will be.

  • Urge your child to wear both shoulder straps. Lugging the backpack around by one strap can cause the disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, as well as low-back pain.

  • Wide, padded straps are important. Non-padded straps are uncomfortable, and can dig into your child's shoulders.

  • The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child's body. Straps that are too loose can cause the backpack to dangle uncomfortably and cause spinal misalignment and pain.

  • If the backpack is still too heavy, talk to your child's teacher. Ask if your child could leave the heaviest books at school and bring home only lighter handout materials or workbooks.

  • Also be aware that most textbooks are available in digital format that your school may give you access to. Or you may purchase it yourself for use at home.

  • Although the use of rollerpacks — or backpacks on wheels — has become popular in recent years, ACA is now recommending that they be used cautiously and on a limited basis by only those students who are not physically able to carry a backpack. Some school districts have begun banning the use of rollerpacks because they clutter hallways, resulting in dangerous trips and falls.

Dr. Bradley Clow is focused on helping as many people as possible reach their optimum health potential. He utilizes not only chiropractic adjustment but provides a complete spectrum of natural healthcare: individualized supplements, massage therapy, physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises. This allows Dr. Clow and his staff to focus on the needs of each individual.

Backpack Review

Bring your children and their backpacks to Clow Chiropractic for a complimentary backpack safety review. You can get a computerized postural stress evaluation to see how their spine is affected with the pack on and off. 

Call 321-725-8778 to schedule.

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