• Dr. Monica Ngo

It's Back to School Season!


Choosing the right backpack for you!


Did you know backpacks can affect your health and more importantly your children's health? Carrying a heavy load that is unevenly or improperly distributed can result in bad posture and even affect the spine throwing it out of alignment. This can cause neck pain, back pain, headaches and sometimes even nerve pain. For example, a heavy backpack carried on one shoulder can force certain muscles of the body to compensate for the uneven weight. This can place stress on areas such as the mid or lower back and may also increase the likelihood of back problems later in life as well.


Read below to learn a few simple tips and tricks to help your kids carry their load properly and safely.


How to choose the right backpack:

It is best to pick a backpack that has two wide adjustable, padded shoulder straps, along with a hip or waist strap with plenty of pockets. Make sure the backpack fits properly and is not too snug around the arms and under the armpits, and that its size is proportionate to their body.


Packing it properly:

Make sure your children's backpack contain only what is needed for that day and the weight is distributed evenly. It's a good idea to know roughly what each items weighs. Ideally, the total weight of the backpack should be no more than 10 to 15% of the wearer's own body weight.


Putting the backpack on:

It's a good idea to help young children with this, at least for the first few times. Put the backpack on at waist height. Slip on the backpack, one shoulder at a time, then adjust the straps to fit comfortably. Remember when lifting a backpack or anything, to lift use the arms and legs and avoid bending at the knees.


The right away to wear a backpack:

Both shoulder straps should be used, and adjusted so that the backpack fits snug to the' body, without it dangling to the side. Backpacks should never be worn over just one shoulder. You should be able to slide your hand between the backpack and your child's back. The waist strap should also be worn for added stability.


DID YOU KNOW?

More than 50 percent of young people experience at least one episode of lower back pain by their teenage years. Research indicates that this could be caused to a great extent by improper use of backpacks.


If your child complain of back pain make an appointment to see your chiropractor today.

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