It is almost that time of year again – the kids head back to the public or private schools here in Oakville. Chances are you will be looking to buy a back pack for your child. There are some things to keep in mind when you are shopping, according to chiropractors:
-Choose a lightweight material (canvas, vinyl)
-Buy a backpack with wide, padded straps that can be adjusted, along with a padded back and waist straps.
-The bag should be proportionate to body size and sit about 2 inches above the waist. The top of the backpack should not go higher than the top of the shoulder.
-Make sure your child knows how to wear it properly: They should never sling it over only one shoulder and they should use the waist strap to transfer some of the load to the hips.
-Backpacks should never be over filled – only put what you need for the day. The total weight of the bag should not exceed 15% of your child’s body weight.
-Heaviest items should be packed closest to the body. The weight should be spread throughout the backpack.
It is important to buy a quality backpack – not only to ensure it lasts for the whole school year, but to avoid back pain or injury. Carrying a heavy load improperly or unevenly can cause back pain – resulting in poor posture, muscle strain, head, neck and arm pain or even nerve damage or distortion of the spinal column.
For very young children, it is advisable to show them how to pack, lift and carry the backpack. Learning this early in life will keep their backs healthy and strong throughout their school years.