The following few simple tips can ease the burden on young developing spines.
Check the weight of your child’s school bag before they head off for the first day back and remember to check on a regular basis. Often, we find that students are overloading their growing spine and nervous system with overly stuffed backpacks. An increased load on the spine can, over time, lead to spinal complications in the future.
While the following tips may not be as fashion forward as your children may like – they are the best approach to helping ease the load.
Look for an ergonomic shaped ‘s’ fold strap at least 2 inches wide. The ergonomic shape should mean that the straps fit comfortably over the shoulders, form fit over the chest and distribute the load evenly. If the straps are simple straight pieces of material they increase the load at the top of the shoulders and can become quite uncomfortable. An uncomfortable backpack will usually mean that your child will wear it incorrectly, or slung over one shoulder instead.
If the backpack selected has multiple pockets and internal storage compartments, it will mean that loads can be more evenly distributed. Heavier items such as laptop computers or textbooks, placed closer to the spine means that the load is more evenly carried. Smaller, lighter items can fit in the outer pockets where it will lessen the effect on posture.
When selecting a backpack, a smaller sized internal storage means it becomes more difficult to be overloaded with extra unnecessary weight. If your child is younger than the age of 10, recommendations suggest that the weight of the pack should be no more than ten percent of their total body weight. A backpack that is size appropriate for your child is just as important, buying a huge open compartment for your student to grow into will not be doing your child any favours.
As always, what may be the coolest, trendiest latest fad, tends not to be the best for the body. A single strap backpack may look the bee’s knees, but it tends to be a rather impractical approach. Try and adjust the backpack so that it sits in or above the lower back, ‘the long strap, low slung’ approach may look the part, but it will definitely cause irritation in the long term.
If you have any doubt about your selection, by all means come in and speak with our friendly and knowledgeable team at Complete Chiropractic. We’d be happy to offer advice regarding the best choice for your child to help them and their spines for the future.
For more information – speak to our team of spinal specialists at Complete Chiropractic to understand how you can better help your body.
Article by Greg Whitehead
Chiropractor with Complete Chiropractic, Dee Why