School is back in session and with that comes hauling large books and a never ending amount of homework back and forth between home and school. A disturbing trend being seen in young adolescents is back pain attributing to overweight backpacks. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are more than 7,300 backpack-related injuries annually treated by hospitals and doctors.
Here are a few tips to properly load and carry a back pack to help prevent your child from becoming a statistic.
- Make sure backpack does not weight more than 10% of your child’s body weight
- Do not sling back pack over one shoulder; instead ALWAYS use both shoulder straps
- Adjust straps so they are fit snugly to against the body keeping the bottom of the back pack two inches above waistline
- Try packing all objects so they are evenly distributed, packing heaviest objects first and closest to the body and lighter objects in outer most compartments
- Lift back pack using legs and avoid walking with a forward lean
- Try finding a back pack that is light weight, has padded shoulder straps, and multiple compartments
If your child complains of back pain related to backpack use, contact your doctor or stop into O.S.R Physical Therapy for a free consult. Physical therapy can help address core strength important for stabilizing back and spine.
This post was composed by Jason Kopp, ATR at our Chanhassen Office.