If your child complains of an aching back, it could be the result of a heavy backpack filled with books. In 2017, an estimated 7,800 kids from five to 18 years old were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to backpacks. Besides pain and other possible complications, the long-term effects that heavy backpacks have on children’s posture can be significant. The following are some pertinent facts and recommendations to keep in mind.
Backpack Safety America recommends:
- Choose it right
- The size should be proportional to the size of the child; the height of the backpack should be no more than three-quarters of the length between the child’s shoulder blades and waist.
- Look for packs with padded shoulder straps to prevent pinching nerves in and around the shoulder and neck area.
- Opt for a waist or chest strap to help balance the weight.
- Pack it right
- The maximum weight of the backpack should be no more than 15 percent of the child’s body weight.
- Physical Therapists recommend:
- Bend at the knees and lift using quadriceps muscles when lifting.
- Slip the pack of both shoulders at almost the same time versus slipping it off one shoulder at a time.
- Wear the pack snugly but comfortably on the shoulders (don’t allow the pack to hang down loosely at or below waist-level).
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s aching back, contact Pivot Physical Therapy for a complimentary injury screening at 844-748-6878.
Pivot Physical Therapy