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Is Your Child’s Backpack Over The Weight Limit?


Annually, there are about 14,000 backpack-related injuries in children, according to the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission.  And some researchers are asking how many of these injuries will turn out to be long term back issues.

We all know how hectic the morning rush can be, and how many items always seem to be needed as the backpacks get loaded up.  Here are some quick checks from the experts to avoid injuries.

Backpack Safety Checks:

Backpacks should be no heavier than 10 percent of a child’s weight.

Backpacks should be no wider than the child’s chest.

Backpacks should have  padded shoulder and waist straps.

Backpacks should be worn no lower than the hollow of the back and carried on both shoulders.

When loading place all heavy items at the base of the back close to the spine for better weight distribution.

Possible Posture Problems: Your chiropractor can help you evaluate your child’s spine and advise you on problems to avoid.  It has been found that a child is more likely to have a forward head posture when wearing a loaded backpack.

Also uneven hips can occur as children carry backpacks on one shoulder instead of using both shoulder straps. Uneven weight distribution can trigger a posture adjustment and cause uneven hips. In severe cases long term bad posture can lead to Scoliosis, a condition in which the spine twists from left to right instead of running in a straight line.

Some doctors say they are finding degenerative changes in the spine much earlier than they would have expected and they are encouraging earlier preventive back care.  Sometimes we all need a few posture reminders and this might be the time to also talk about posture habits to avoid watching TV, playing video games, or lifting heavy objects.

Your chiropractor can also provide exercises to strengthen muscles and maintain improved posture.


Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.

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