3 Ways to Lighten the Load of Your Child’s Backpack

Bottom Line:
Does your child’s backpack feel like a 50-pound bag of rocks? You may have noticed that your child struggles to get it on in the morning. What’s more, researchers and healthcare organizations are growing more concerned about the effects of this extra weight on your child’s developing spine.

Why it Matters:
It’s estimated that over 60% of children routinely carry backpacks that weigh more than 10% of their body weight. For some children, they may be carrying a backpack nearly identical to their own body weight!

This is a big deal because researchers have found that carrying heavy backpacks increases the risk of back pain in children by 50%.

The good news? You can help them.

  • Ergonomics: Select an appropriately sized backpack. It shouldn’t be wider than their torso or sit more than 4 inches below their waist.
  • Fit: Use both shoulder straps to balance the weight and ensure the straps are snug so the backpack doesn’t hang low.
  • Packing: Teach your child to place the heaviest items towards the bottom of the backpack and use all the compartments to distribute the load.

Next Steps:
One benefit of the e-learning movement is that digital versions of textbooks are replacing the heavy paper textbooks.

Most experts agree that a backpack should not weigh more than 10% of the child’s body weight. Backpacks that are too heavy can lead to back or neck pain, as well as poor posture. If your child has developed poor posture or neck/back pain, let us know. We would be happy to evaluate their posture and movement to correct any concerns before they become a problem.

Science Source(s):
(1) Backpack Safety: It’s time to lighten the load. National Safety Council. 2020.

by Christopher Freytag, D.C.

Previous Post:
Next Post:

Comments are closed.