Is your child complaining of back pain? If your son or daughter is carrying too many books, supplies and other things around all day in a backpack, that could be the source of the problem. The reason is simple: heavy backpacks, especially if they are carried improperly, can do damage on everything from lower back, neck and shoulder pains to headaches and numbness.
Here are some things you need to know:
- Your child should only carry about 10% and not more than 15% of his/her body weight in a backpack. Put your child on a scale with and without the pack to do a quick, easy check.
If your child is carrying too much weight, lighten the load – carry only what’s needed that day, leave unnecessary items at home and only bring home books that are needed for study that night.
- Lightweight packs with two wide, padded shoulder straps are recommended. Make sure your child is using both straps to distribute the weight evenly. Be sure the straps are adjusted so the backpack rides in the middle curve of the back instead of sagging low.
- If your child is using a backpack with wheels, that’s fine as long as your child isn’t stooping to pull it or lug it up stairs.
We all know how important it is for our children to get good sleep, eat well and be safe to be successful in school – and this includes using backpacks correctly.