Your Child's Backpack: A Heavy Topic

By Sara Butler

It’s back to school time! That means days of homework, getting up early to catch the bus and packing up the backpack are here! Whether or not you’re excited to see your children go back to school or not, there is one thing you should be taking very seriously – their backpack. A backpack may seem innocent, but any chiropractor will tell you that overloading your child’s backpack can lead to a load of problems for your child. Here’s what you need to be aware of in order to make sure you aren’t loading your little one down for school!

Signs and Symptoms of a Heavy Backpack

Believe it or not, kids as young as 5 are now complaining of back and neck pain related to backpacks that are too heavy (fortunately, they respond well to chiropractic care). Young kids often don’t know how to let you know what they’re feeling, but changes in their behavior can be one sign that something isn’t right. Here are a few other signs to look for:

  • Problems concentrating
  • Problems with memory
  • Headaches
  • Poor posture
  • Problems sleeping
  • Sick with colds frequently
  • Unwilling to participate in activities
  • Aggressive behavior

Tips for Backpacks

You don’t want to load your child up with too much, so here are some easy suggestions that can help to lighten their load:

  • Material – Choose a backpack made of a lightweight material such as canvas or vinyl.
  • Straps – The backpack you choose should have wide straps that are adjustable, along with a padded back and even a waist or hip strap.
  • Carry on both shoulders – If your child carries the pack on just one shoulder it can throw off their muscles and spine, causing the other side of their body to compensate for the weight, putting stress on the back.
  • Weight – A backpack should never exceed 10 percent of your child’s total body weight. Make sure the heaviest objects are placed in the part of the pack closest to the body.

Your Child’s Spine

If you don’t take your child to the chiropractor for a spinal assessment, you should. When you were a child your school may have done a spinal check on every child to ensure they didn’t have some problem with spinal alignment, but that is no longer the case in most places.

When you bring your child into The Joint Chiropractic, the chiropractor can do a screening and look for any problem that can be corrected early in order to avoid any possible long-term consequences and possibly improve the overall health of your child. 

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