Kids, Chiropractic and Back to School Season – Series Part 1 of 4
Uh-oh…did I hear someone say, “back to school’? Say it isn’t so!! This summer is flying by and I have started to hear chatter about back-to-school shopping and classroom assignments and bus schedules.
You know that at Thalia Chiropractic and Wellness, we are all about being proactive about your health… So, to be congruent, we have prepared our top tips to help you and your kids get ahead of the curve for the upcoming school year!
Part 1: Backpacks
Backpacks & Children’s Injuries
Improperly loaded or worn backpacks can cause incredible amounts stress on our kids’ growing spines and frames. It can lead to back pain, changes in posture, headaches, muscle strains or sprains and can even lead to acute injuries. In fact, a study in Pediatrics shows that ER visits associated with backpacks are most highly correlated with tripping, with the head and face being the most commonly seriously injured body parts.
Can you imagine a small elementary school student with a heavy backpack that trips and is unable to catch themselves? Ow! Let’s not go there…we want our kids to keep their teeth and their little bodies uninjured.
So, weigh your child and then weigh their backpack. A child’s daily backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 10% of their total body weight. Some sources suggest a maximum of 5-10%. Simply put, your 100 pound child’s backpack should weigh no more than 10 pounds.
How to Choose and Wear the Right Backpack
Choose a backpack with 2 soft padded shoulder straps, a chest strap and a waist strap to help distribute the weight of the pack across their body. Many kids, especially teens, like to wear only one shoulder strap at a time. Encourage them to wear both shoulder straps to minimize the asymmetrical effects that gravity and the weight of their backpacks will have on posture, gait and spinal joint wear. Also, the bottom of your child’s backpack should not sit lower than the curve of their lower back. When loading a backpack, heavier items, such as textbooks should be closest to the body or spine.
Your Local Va Beach Chiropractor Can Help
If your child complains about back pain or has to lean forward to carry their pack, please lighten their pack. If you are unsure about where to start, bring your child and their pack into our office and we will be happy to give you a free evaluation and some great advice on the best way to adjust the backpack!
We will be back soon with Part 2 of our back-to-school series! In the meantime, like our article and share with friends and family!
Yours In Health,