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Backpack Safety

  • August 4, 2015

Backpack Safety

150 150 SSI Physical Therapy and Health Club

It’s that time of year again, when we send our little angels off to a new school year. Lots of excitement, new clothes, shoes, and yes, backpacks. It seems that every season there are more choices out there, so before you buy and load those packs up, here are some important tips to keep our kids injury-free.

backpack-blogFirst and foremost, a child’s loaded backpack should be no more than 10-15% of her body weight. For a 100 pound child, that’s 10-15 pounds.

Encourage your child to leave unnecessary textbooks at school when possible. Often, textbooks can be accessed online. Also, set aside some time each week to help your child clean out her pack. It’s interesting to find out how much a small child can stash in a backpack!

Next, be sure your child is wearing her backpack correctly. She should never carry the pack with only one strap as this can lead to imbalances in the spine and muscles. Both straps should fit securely over the shoulders, and the pack should ride against the largest part of the back, not down around the hips. If your child’s backpack has a waist strap, this should be buckled.

When purchasing a pack, have your child try it on to be sure it’s not too large for her body. We don’t recommend messenger-style backpacks.

Finally, if your child complains of pain in her shoulders, neck or back, consult your physical therapists at SSI. We can evaluate any problems and make recommendations regarding the backpack as well as give your child tips on posture and exercise that will have her feeling great as she heads out that door.

Happy kids, happy parents!   Contact us for more information!