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You are here: Home Gentle Press Is Your Child’s Backpack a Source of Spinal Stress?

Is Your Child’s Backpack a Source of Spinal Stress?

Boy with BackpackChiropractic tips for safe backpack use:
1. Wear both straps and avoid the one-strap styled back packs. Uneven distribution of the load causes postural compensations and spinal stress.
2. When putting on and removing backpacks, bend at the knees or have the pack at a higher level such as on a desk or table. Sudden twisting motion adds to the potential of injury.
3. Arrange the backpack so it rests evenly in the middle of the back. Shoulder straps should be adjusted to allow the child to put on and take off the backpack without difficulty and permit free movement of the arms. Straps should not be too loose, and the backpack should not extend below the lower back.
4. Keep the load at 10-15% or less of the student’s bodyweight.
5. Carry only those items that are required for the day. Request additional textbooks to be kept at home instead of hauling heavy books to and from school.
6. Organize the contents of the backpack by placing the heaviest items closest to the wearer's back.
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Modified excerpt from: Is Your Child’s Backpack a
Source of Spinal Stress? by Jeanne Ohm, DC.
Read more in Pathways:
www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org