Pumpkin Spice and Back to School Season – #Backpack
Pumpkin Spice and Back to School Season
Well parents, it is that time of year again! Some of our kids are excited to go back to school and some others, not so much. Even for parents, this can be a time of relief or a time of morning routines and pick up lines. Regardless of your child’s feelings about going back it is always best to set them up for success and one of the most important things is making sure that their backpacks are not only fitted correctly, but packed correctly. Fit and weight and make a huge difference when it comes to proper posture for your child and to reduce stress on their neck, mid and low back. Below are some simple guidelines to follow so that pain is not one of the added stresses of the school year.
Weigh your child’s backpack. We recommend that packed weight not exceed 15% of your child’s body weight. On average a backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 5-10lbs for kids aged 5-11. Pack larger/heavier items closer to the body and work out from there. If the pack as external pockets, try to pack them evenly from side to side. If you find that the textbooks are just too heavy, ask if your child can have a set of the heavier ones to keep at home so they are not carrying those back and forth every day.
Make sure that you are buying a pack that fits your child. As a rule, a bag should be no wider than their torso and should not ride lower than their waist. Ideally the pack should have padding on the shoulder straps with a waist and/or chest strap. The waist strap in more important than a chest strap so keep that in mind when shopping as it may be difficult to find one with both. If your child notices that the shoulder straps slip off it is easy enough to find a small strap that you can wrap around the shoulder straps to pull them closer across the chest. The waist strap helps to distribute the weight of the pack to the hips and shoulders.
While carrying a pack on one should my look cool that uneven stress over time can cause changes to the muscles and spine and can lead to more serious issues. Make sure that the pack is close to the torso and evenly packed to avoid any abnormal postures.
Make sure you talk to your kids about neck, shoulder and back pain. You may find that your child has experienced come pain, but never really thought to bring it up to you. Small problems taken care of early and reduce or eliminate more serious problems later.
We recommend that all your kids get their backpack posture checked and we use our Posture Screen Mobile app in our office to do that. You can clearly see below that a properly fitted pack looks like compared to a poorly fitted one and what that does to your child’s posture and the stress that puts on their developing spine.
These screenings are free at our office! Please call our office to set up that free screening, it is quick and easy.
We look forward to seeing your family soon!