Although the summer holidays have just begun, parents are already thinking about the new school year and backpacks are becoming a growing concern for many.

Follow these simple steps when picking your child’s backpack and make sure they wear the pack in the best possible way. Asymmetry, overload or incorrectly fitted backpacks can lead to pain and problems in your growing child’s spine, that may not show up pain or problems until later in life

When fitted correctly, your Backpack will sit above your hips, be close to your spine and the weight distribution will be 80% hips, 20% shoulders.

Follow these tips to ensure your child is carrying their pack correctly.

• Ensure all zips are closed
• Wear both shoulder straps at all times
• Adjust the load compression straps every time
• Connect the sternum straps if you have a long walk
• Don’t allow the pack to fall below the hip level
• Use the waist strap to keep the pack against your spine
• Always pack the heaviest items low in your pack and against the spine
• NEVER carry more than 10% of your body weight

 

All too often we see children straining their backs because their backpack is either too heavy or more often being worn in a fashionable manner that strains their back (see photo).

If you have concerns about your child’s spine, talk to your chiropractor and get their spine checked professionally.