In most cities and states, school is already back in session or is starting soon. While times remain uncertain and some schools are still closed and opting for virtual education, kids still have school supplies and books that they need to learn this year. Whether they’re learning at home, going to their school in-person, or doing digital learning from a location other than at home, they will likely be hauling all their school materials around from time to time, if not on a daily basis.
Since back pain is such a common complaint among Americans, especially kids and teens who have a heavy load of school supplies to transport, it’s important that you utilize these backpack safety tips. Lithia Springs chiropractor Dr. Ronnie Bolar is passionate about helping kids and adults maintain health and optimal function of their central nervous systems, and that begins with the spine. Here are his top tips for backpack safety to keep kids healthy and pain-free this school year.
Choose a Quality Backpack
While quality may not be as big of a deal for younger students, middle and high school students who are carrying more books need a durable and supportive backpack. Choose one with padded straps, one that can be adjusted easily for proper fit, and one that has multiple pockets for proper weight distribution.
Wear It Properly
Kids are prone to tossing backpacks lackadaisically over their shoulder and running out the door, but that could be doing harm to their back and overall health. Backpacks should be worn close to the back, not sagging and loosely hanging off of them. Aim to keep the entire backpack on the child’s actual back, and make sure the shoulder straps are even. Avoid wearing it loosely or on just one shoulder, as this can cause strain on the neck and back, muscle spasms, poor posture, and misalignments of the spine.
Pack It Well
When backpacks aren’t packed well, they can become more uncomfortable, causing students to change the way they carry them or create added strain on the neck, back, and shoulder muscles. Heavier items should be at the bottom of the backpack and closer to the back. If the backpack has several compartments, it can help to spread things out a bit and space out the weight distribution more evenly.
Limit the Weight of the Backpack
Although students may have trouble limiting what they need to transport to and from school or locations where they’re working, they should try to minimize the weight of their backpacks as best as they can. This may mean making copies or taking pictures of textbook pages so they can leave the book at school, carrying a book in their arms for the ride home, or borrowing a book from a neighbor, if possible.
Visit Your Lithia Springs Chiropractor for Improved Spinal Health
Back pain can be incredibly frustrating and seriously painful, and it can impact not only our physical health, but our mental health as well. If our children are dealing with back pain due to improper backpack use, it’s in everyone’s best interest to take care of it with natural, safe, and effective methods. Chiropractic care from your Lithia Springs chiropractor, Dr. Bolar, is a proven way to manage back pain and improve overall health. Give him and his team a call at Vital Life Chiropractic and help your kids start their school year with health, wellness, and pain-free living.
“Backpack Safety Tips.” American Chiropractic Association. https://www.acatoday.org/patients/health-wellness-information/backpack-safety
Triano, J. “Backpacks and Back Pain in Children.” Spine-Health. https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/backpacks-and-back-pain-children.