Back to School – How Much Should Your Child’s Backpack Weigh?
This is a common thought by any parent who’s concerned their child is carrying too much in their backpack, or is carrying it inappropriately.
“A bag that is too heavy can increase the natural curvatures on the spine, promoting upper back rounding, and a ‘forward head posture’. Furthermore, carrying a bag on one shoulder every time can create muscular imbalances and further asymmetries in the body” - which can lead to potential injuries further down the track.
This can cause a lot of problems for kids, such as back and shoulder pain, and poor posture.
Here’s how to avoid it :
• Wear both straps of the backpack
• Place heavier items closer to your child’s back and lighter items in the pockets further away
• Aim to keep the backpack less than 10% of your child’s weight
• Only pack what is needed for the day
• Encourage your child to exercise to keep his/her muscles and bones strong
• Buy a backpack with wide and padded shoulder straps that are comfortable for your child
• Waist and chest straps help transfer some of the load and should be encouraged to be used
• Don’t buy a bag to ‘grow into’ – when the child sits, the backpack should not extend higher than the child’s shoulders
If you have any concerns about posture, back or shoulder pain, then contact us today at Infinite Health Chatswood - Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology & Massage Therapy on 02 9412 2222.
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