September 26, 2013

 

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When backpacks hang down too low, they can lead to shoulder and back pain.

Now that school is in full swing, you may hear your child complain about minor aches and pains associated with carrying his heavy backpack.

While we can’t do anything about the size and weight of today’s textbooks, we’d like to share three simple tips that will help keep everyone pain free and at the top of the class.

  • Wear both straps – Your child may complain that this is not the “cool” way to carry a backpack, but it is certainly the BEST way! The use of one strap causes one side of the body to bear the weight of the backpack. By wearing both shoulder straps, the weight of the backpack is better distributed.
  • Wear the backpack over the strongest mid-back muscles – Pay close attention to the way the backpack is positioned on the back. It should rest evenly in the middle of the back. Shoulder straps should be adjusted to allow the child to put on and take off the backpack without difficulty and to allow free movement of the arms. Straps should not be too loose, and the backpack should not extend below the low back.
  • Lighten the load – Keep the load at 10 percent or less of the child’s bodyweight. Your child can do this by carrying only those items that are required for the day. Also, organize the contents of the backpack by placing the heaviest items closest to the back.

When your child gets home from school today, take a few minutes to check her backpack and make sure it fits properly. By adjusting the straps and organizing the contents, your child will enjoy a comfy and ache-free day at school.