Some kids have backaches because they’re lugging around their entire locker’s worth of books, school supplies, and personal items all day long. While things like sports, poor posture while sitting, or even inactivity can cause back pain, over-packed and overweight backpacks are often the culprit.
The American Chiropractic Association recommends that backpacks weigh no more than 5% to 10% of a child’s weight. Wearing a heavy backpack that is incorrectly placed on the shoulders will cause the weight’s force to pull a child backwards. To compensate, children might bend forward at the hips or arch their back. This can make the spine compress unnaturally, leading to shoulder, neck, and back pain.
- Wear the backpack properly using both straps over the shoulders. Wearing only one shoulder strap may cause children to lean to compensate for the extra weight; causing poor posture and possibly back pain.
- Carry smaller loads. Be aware how much the backpack holds and use your locker to unload some of the weight and unnecessary items.
- Pick up the backpack properly. Bend your knees to pick-up the backpack.