What Impact is Your Child’s Backpack Having on Their Spine?

School is in – much to the delight of most parents and even a few kids.

You’ve probably been out buying new uniforms, books and perhaps even a new backpack for your children.

One thing that most people don’t realise is the impact of a heavy backpack on a growing young spine.

Too heavy, or ill fitting backpacks worn incorrectly may see your child complaining at the end of the week. My kids used to mention the ‘turtle back’ which represents the turtle – or a loaded up backpack being carried to school on the back of a teen. They never wanted to carry such a load, and this is probably a good thing!

It’s important to have a well fitting back pack for comfort and also to avoid strain on shoulders, upper back and lower back. Here are some tips to remember.

1. Make sure the backpack weighs less than 10% of your child’s weight.
2. Have wide shoulder straps to avoid strain on the shoulders.
3. Pack the heaviest things closest to the spine.
4. Wear the backpack on both shoulders to balance the weight and wear it high so that the pack is not banging round on the bottom.
5. Use the waist strap (if there is one) for more support.

If your child is complaining of any discomfort after you’ve considered all the tips above, then have them checked over by a family chiropractor to make sure there is no underlying spinal issue.