Back to School
Article credit: Australian Chiropractors Association January 2019
Every year thousands of children across the country return to school in January and it is important that every year parents look at the quality and fit of their child’s backpack.
"School can be a challenging time for some children, so ensuring they are as comfortable as possible is important for their physical and mental development," says ACA President Dr Anthony Coxon.
If you are worried about your child's backpack weight, here are a few lifestyle and backpack modifications tips:
What to look for in a backpack
Make sure the backpack is the right size for your child, no wider than their chest and no lower than the hollow of their back.A moulded frame on the back, that when adjusted fits their spine.A bag made from a light weight material like canvas, with two padded straps.Adjustable waist and sternum straps.Separate compartments that allow for easy packing and weight distribution.
How to carry the backpack in a 'spine-safe' way
Ensure that the weight of the backpack is no more than 10% of your child’s weight when packed. Only pack essentials to lessen the load, perhaps use school lockers if available.Pack the heaviest items closest to the spine and make sure all zippers are done up all the way.Secure the sternum and waist straps (they’re there for a reason).Always wear both straps, tell the kids it’s not cool to ‘one-strap it’ anymore.Reduce the time spent wearing the backpack to no more than 30 minutes at any one time.