Back to school is already upon us and that means it’s time for new clothes, notebooks, pencils and backpacks. However in many parts of the country, backpacks are falling out of favor. The pain and stress that backpacks put on growing young bodies is increasingly seen as dangerous to their health; and in this era of iPads and Kindles, they’re quickly becoming dated and unnecessary.
Many schools are starting to realize that it makes more sense to send home copied papers or e-readers instead of having kids schlepping heavy textbooks from school to home and back again. Unfortunately, not everyone’s completely on board with this trend. If your child’s school still requires him or her to carry around heavy materials, you can take the following steps to protect your child from the stress and strain of backpack use.
The simplest choice for substituting a traditional backpack is to find one with wheels that your child can wheel around like luggage. These are handy, because a child can wear them when they’re empty and then wheel them around when they’re full, saving their back from unnecessary wear and tear.
Duffle bags can be used if the items that your child carries home aren’t too heavy. These remove the weight on your child’s neck and back, and force your child to carry with his or her shoulders and arms instead.
You may want to consider a messenger bag with cushioned straps. Again, this keeps the weight off of your child’s spine, but isn’t a great choice for very heavy items. If your child regularly carries home heavy textbooks, you may want to purchase a variety of bags to limit ongoing stress.
If your child must carry a backpack, make sure that it weighs no more than five to 10 percent of his or her bodyweight. In addition, resist the urge to buy a pack for your child to “grow into.” The backpack should never hang more than four inches below your child’s waistline.
Ensure that the backpack you buy for your child has wide shoulder straps. This will prevent the backpack from digging into his or her shoulders.
Have a Talk
If your child is bringing home heavy textbooks regularly, it may be time to share your concerns with your child’s teacher or principal. If e-books aren’t an option, discuss the possibility of printing out homework instead of sending home books. Parents can have a lot of say on the procedures in their child’s school.
Most of all, remember to take your child for a visit with their chiropractor if they begin to complain about pain in the neck, back, arms or legs. A simple adjustment can reduce pain and enable your child’s body to heal more efficiently. Chiropractic care can help people of all ages and sizes, and regular visits will keep your entire family strong and active.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.