As students head back to class and the homework piles up, it is time to check out your child’s back pack. Back packs can cause a wide variety of problems in the neck, back and shoulders. Below are some helpful tips to ensure that your child’s back pack isn’t causing them pain, or book an appointment with of our physical therapists to discuss your concerns.
- When loading a backpack, always place heavier objects closer to the bottom and back and use all compartments to distribute the weight more evenly.
- Choose a backpack that has wide shoulder straps (about 2 inches) that are well padded.
- If possible, try to find a back pack with a waist belt and use it to take some of the weight off the shoulders.
- When choosing a back pack, try to choose one that is the appropriate size for the person carrying it. Ultimately a larger pack will just get filled with more stuff.
- Avoid overloading a backpack. Try to keep the load below 10-15% of the person’s body weight, especially with children.
- Wear the backpack over both shoulders rather than having it slung over one shoulder
- Keep the straps tight so the backpack sits against the back, with the bottom of the pack resting in the small of the back.
- Suggest to your child that they use their locker, if available, to store books and supplies that are not needed at home.