Your child’s backpack may be causing spinal problems and back pain. It is important to listen to your child if they mention that their back is hurting. Research has found that heavily loaded backpacks can cause back problems in both adults and children. Backpack-related injuries have also sent over 7,000 people to the emergency room in a single year in the United States.
A study in Italy found that the average child carries a backpack that is the equivalent of a 176-pound adult male carrying a 39-pound burden. The study also found that 60 percent of children carrying heavy backpacks reported back pain.
Below are some tips to ensure that your child’s backpack isn’t too heavy:
- Ensure that the backpack weighs no more than 5 to 10 percent of your child’s body weight. A 60-pound child shouldn’t carry any more than about 6 to 10 pounds, for example.
- Adjust the shoulder straps on the backpack so that they fit to your child’s body. Make sure that they are not too loose, as this can cause the backpack to hang down and put further strain on the spine. As a rule of thumb, the backpack should never be more than four inches below the child’s waistline.
- Advise your child to use both shoulder straps, as wearing the backpack on just one shoulder will cause a weight shift to one side and can lead to back pain, spinal misalignment, and neck pain.
If your child has been reporting regular back pain symptoms, we can help. Chiropractic treatment has the same benefits for children as it does for adults, and it can improve posture and ensure optimal spinal alignment as your child grows.
Contact Dean Chiropractic to schedule an appointment.