It's National Back to School Day! School is starting next week, and if you haven't bought a new back pack for your kids you may have some question.
I got asked last week "What's the best backpack for my kid?"
My answer? It depends.
Here are the question I ask when evaluating any back back.
"Is the back pack the correct size for your child?"
"Are the shoulder straps padded?"
"Are the shoulder straps adjustable?"
"Does your child use both straps?"
"Does the backpack have a padded back?"
"Does the backpack have compartments to keep the contents in place?"
These are all important questions because we want to make sure that the back pack does not create potential for back pain.

How a Back Pack Affects The Spine

A backpack is the primary thing people buy for kids to bring their stuff to school. The problem with back packs is that it's easy to over pack a bag. Children are not strong enough to manage a back pack that is too heavy. 60% of students have some back pack related pain.

Signs Your Kid's Back Pack Is Too Heavy

You want to make sure that your kids backpack fits to help avoid problems throughout the school year. Here are some signs:
  • They struggle to put it on and take it off
  • They feel pain while wearing it
  • Their arms or legs feel numb
  • They have strap marks 
  • They bend forward 
The rule of thumb is you should carry no more than 10% of weight in a backpack. If your child is 140lbs, their backpack should be no more than 14 lbs. You also want to keep the heaviest things closest to the back.
There is no best backpack, but there is a right backpack for your child.
Byron  Lam

Byron Lam

Chiropractor, CCSP®, FR® Spine

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