Backpack Safety

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As the school year begins again, it is important to touch on the subject of backpacks.

As a chiropractor I have seen many cases of children ages 5-18 with neck, back, and shoulder pain caused by heavy book bags. What frightens me even more are the number of students who are not in my office-many more are walking around with these problems and not getting them taken care of. This will just lead to worse problems down the road.

One way to solve this problem is to follow these guidelines, set up by the American Chiropractic Association:

  • The backpack should not weigh more than 5 to 10 percent of the student’s body weight. For example, if your child weighs 60 pounds, the backpack should not weigh more than 6 pounds.
  • The backpack should never hang more than 4 inches below the waistline.
  • Both shoulder straps should be worn and wide, padded straps are ideal.
  • The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your child’s body.

If your backpack does not weigh less than 10% of your body weight, and especially if you are experiencing pain, please be checked by a chiropractor. What may seem like a small problem in school will develop into a much larger problem later in life if not taken care of now.

Published in: on August 4, 2008 at 5:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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