417-891-9700
3250 E. Battlefield, Suite P
Springfield, MO 65804

Back to School: Backpack Guidelines for Kids

Backpack Guidelines

Summer is almost over, and we all know what that means; it’s time for back to school shopping! As you’ve no doubt been informed (or maybe remember), fashions change. Picking out that first day’s outfit can be quite difficult for many students and their parents.

However, I’d like to talk about one area where fashion should not be allowed to overrule function, and that area is backpacks. An ill-fitting, heavy backpack can cause back pain and spinal dysfunction in growing children, especially if the backpack is also worn improperly, with only one shoulder strap for instance. But you do have some options to help prevent or alleviate back pain in your youngsters. Chiropractic care is safe and effective for children, and in addition to a chiropractic adjustment, your chiropractor can teach exercises to your kids to help with posture and core support strengthening.

Additionally, consider the following guidelines when you’re out shopping. A backpack should ideally contain only 10% of your child’s weight, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Choosing a backpack with several compartments is important because the compartments help to position the contents in a balanced and effective way. Wide, padded straps and a padded back are also highly recommended. The straps need to be adjustable in order to keep the backpack just under the shoulder blades and no lower than 4 inches below the child’s waistline. Additionally, encourage your children to always wear both straps. Backpacks with shoulder and waist straps in the front also help distribute the weight more evenly.

For more information, please follow these links to the American Occupational Therapy Association’s site:

http://www.aota.org/-/media/Corporate/Files/Backpack/Whats%20All%20the%20Flap%20About.pdf

http://www.aota.org/-/media/Corporate/Files/Backpack/Backpack%20Strategies%20for%20Parents%20%20Students.pdf

We hope your back to school preparations go smoothly! And remember, we can adjust you and your kids for optimal health and wellness, so give us a call before school starts!