How much does your child’s backpack weigh when they head off to school in the morning? It’s okay if you don’t.
The truth is that most parents don’t know but it’s important that you do. A backpack weighing more than 15% of your child’s bodyweight can damage their developing spine.
A 2004 study from the University of California showed that 64% of students between ages 11-15 reported back pain from their backpacks, with 21% reporting the pain lasted more than 6 months.
1 in 3 Australian School Kids suffer from back pain, 68.6% of children using hand held devices and 53.7% of children carrying a shoulder bag on one shoulder are experiencing pain.
- Every Sunday empty out your child’s backpack & review what they have inside. You would be surprised what items accumulate inside that adds unnecessary weight. If this is a teenager, find out if they need to carry all their books all the time, or is their schedule Monday, Wednesday & Friday different from Tuesday & Thursday?
- Check the backpack straps for proper shoulder placement, making sure that the bottom of the backpack is two inches above the waist & resting in the curve of the lower back.
- Continue weekly reminders that wearing the backpack on both shoulders prevents postural problems.
- Weigh your child’s backpack once a week to determine if it is within the safe range of 15% or less of your child’s body weight.
- If your child is not under regular wellness chiropractic care, check your child’s shoulder & head level at least once a month to determine if they are showing early signs of repetitive stress on their growing spine. A Family Wellness Chiropractor who is trained to detect the early signs can perform this exam. Like dentistry, early detection & correction is key to better spinal health.