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Is your child’s backpack too heavy?

It seems that kids' school backpacks get bigger and bigger each year. It goes without saying, over time, a heavy backpack could cause spine.

A child’s backpack should weigh no more than five-to-10% of their body weight. If the backpack is too heavy it will cause them to bend forward, to support the weight on his or her back, rather than on their shoulders. When wearing a backpack it shouldn’t hang more than four inches below the waistline. Again, a backpack that hangs too low will increase weight on the shoulders and cause your child to lean forward putting pressure on their spine. Try and encourage your children to wear both shoulder straps. Using just the one strap to support the weight of the entire backpack could lead to low back pain. 

Next time you’re shopping for a backpack make sure you choose one with wide padded straps that are also adjustable. Also, look for individual compartments on the backpack; this will help in arranging the contents so that its weight is more evenly distributed. For younger children, ensure that bulky objects are packed so that they are not resting directly on the child’s back. Backpacks should be fitted to your child’s body; loose backpacks can also pain caused by cause spinal misalignment. 

If you are genuinely concerned about the weight of your child’s backpack, discuss with them or their teacher items that can be left at school rather than being carried and brought home. 

If your son or daughter experiences any pain or discomfort resulting from backpack use drop in and see us or book an appointment.

New patients receive a free consultation!

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