According to the US consumer product safety council, 28,000 children were treated for injuries due to
improper school backpack use in just one year. There is a direct correlation between the weight of your child’s
backpack and the weight of the child. Muscle fatigue was seen in 65.7% of children due to improper
backpack use and back pain in 46.1%. This has resulted in over 7,000 ER visits each year in the U.S. What
about your child’s backpack?
With school in session, a backpack is the most important school supply you can buy for your child.
Instead of letting your child select their own backpack based upon what’s in style, let’s provide you with
some guidelines before making that purchase.
The biggest mistake made is the backpack is just too heavy for your child. The weight of a backpack should never exceed more than 10% of your child’s body weight.
The backpack should never be wider than your child’s chest or longer than your child’s torso. Never have the backpack hang more than 4 inches below the waist.
Make sure that the backpack is padded in the back with wide shoulder straps. There should be
hip and chest belts to transfer the weight of the backpack to the hips and torso.
You can have the perfect school backpack, but unless they use it properly, injuries may still
result. Use both shoulder straps. Using only one shoulder strap can cause the weight to shift, causing
your child to compensate for the improper weight.
When picking up the backpack make sure that their knees are bent lifting with their legs. Help
them place heavier items at the bottom of the pack and towards the front for better stability. If it seems
like the child is struggling, this may be a sign that the backpack is too heavy or improper for your child.
When all else fails and your child is experiencing pain or signs of injury from their backpack, have them
evaluated by their chiropractic physician whose expertise is in the spine. There may be underlying
causes that makes your child more susceptible to injuries, such as a history of scoliosis or genetic
weaknesses of the discs that may predispose your child to injuries. Call Fogarty Chiropractic Life Clinic to
schedule your appointment today at (321) 636-5200.