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Is Your Child Toting a Too-Heavy Backpack?

kid standing with backpackWhen children start school, backpacks become part of their school uniform. Unlike years ago, your child is now expected to tote their school books to and from home. As the child grows, so does the weight of their books, and the resulting strain on their back becomes apparent.

Pay Attention to Backpack Usage

Many children carry their backpacks over one shoulder, instead of using both straps as designed. Hauling a heavy backpack over one shoulder may worsen pre-existing postural deformities or spinal misalignments.

Common sense tells us that a heavy load, unevenly distributed, day after day, will stress a still-growing spine. Consider the old adage, “As the twig bends, so grows the tree.” At Novo Chiropractic Sports & Wellness Center, we’ll help ensure your child’s spine grows into a strong, straight tree with chiropractic care.

Backpack Safety Tips

If you’re concerned about the load your child is carrying back and forth from school, consider these safety suggestions:

  • Make sure the backpack is sturdy and appropriately sized. Special child-sized versions are lighter; make sure they rest in the middle of the back, no more than four inches below the waistline.
  • Choose a backpack with multiple compartments and a waist belt. Use all compartments and place the heaviest items closer to the spine.
  • Look for wide padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Make sure your child uses both straps and the waist belt.
  • The maximum weight of loaded backpacks should be no more than 10-15% of the child’s body weight. If your child has to lean forward to carry the load, it’s too heavy.
  • Speak with your child about the importance of how they carry their load. Emphasize standing as straight as possible, not bent at the hips and leaning toward the ground.

Preventing Future Issues Now

Bring your child in while fully loaded for school. We’re happy to provide an evaluation and offer suggestions for reducing their spinal stress. Correcting and preventing spinal issues now, while your child is still growing, may help them avoid more difficult-to-correct problems as an adult.

We’re here to help; give us a call today and schedule your next appointment in Grandville, Wyoming, Belmont or Cascade.

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