The holidays are over, and soon your children will be returning to school. While the backpack is one of the most used accessories for school aged children-and even college attending adults- when not properly used, they can do damage to the neck, shoulders, and spine.

As you prepare to send your kids back to school, keep in mind these essential back pack safety tips:

Size Matters

When selecting the proper backpack, size does matter. A back pack too big for the student can be an invite for them to haul more things thus weighing them down further. According to the American Chiropractic Association, a child’s backpack should not be longer or wider than the child’s torso, and should not hang more than 4 inches below the waist line. Over sized bags cause a child to slightly lean forward, and put more stress on the shoulders.

Choose Compartments

A bag with many compartments to place things in helps to evenly distribute the weight being carried to prevent more stress on certain areas than others. Heaviest items should be packed closest to the body to prevent poor posture while carrying their things.

Shoulder Straps Suggestions

The straps on your child’s back pack should both be worn to avoid muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders and lower back pain. Straps that are padded and adjustable will not only make the wearing of the backpack more comfortable, but also help the pack to be better fitted to your child’s body. The backpack should sit in the middle of their backs, and not fit too loosely, as this will cause the bag to hang uncomfortably and can lead to spinal misalignment.

According to a recent study in regards to children with back pain, most issues faced were directly related to the use of a backpack. While you make goals for the new year, make one of them to help your child’s back health by inspecting their backpack and ensuring it is the proper size and worn correctly by them.

If your child is experiencing pain whether backpack related or not, we want to help! Give us a call today to ensure that your child’s spine is being cared for properly!