How to prevent your child's backpack from causing back pain

Posted at 3:02 PM, Aug 16, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:19:56-04

With school just days away, it is important to make sure the backpack your child will be carrying this school year fits.

"It does seem like the binders get bigger, and the papers get more plentiful... and those backpacks definitely do get heavier. And I can start to see them slinging over one shoulder, hunching forward and leaning backwards," Sarah Carpenter, a mother of three elementary students, said.  

Which are all issues Jason Miller, the owner of CenTex Rehabilitation said can be avoided if your child carries the correct backpack. 

"We're talking about weight and we're talking about distribution of the weight. A backpack, and it's not really the backpack itself, it's what we put in the backpack, should be no more than 10 percent of the child's body weight," Miller said. 

Miller suggests backpacks with lots of compartments to help keep school supplies snug and evenly distributed instead of a backpack where everything slides around. 

It's simple changes like switching from one strap to two and finding the perfect fit that will save your child from back pain in the future.  

"This isn't just something that lasts one year. We're talking about kindergarten all the way through college, and so, if we can instill those good, healthy habits now I think that will help them along the way to not have back pain later on in life," Carpenter added.   

So, as the Carpenter family gets ready for school, she said she's still letting her kids pick and choose their favorite design.

"We're gonna try it on, we're gonna make sure we can adjust it, so that it fits properly, we're gonna look for those different compartments to make sure everything's not just sloshing back and forth and throwing off their posture," Carpenter said. 

Miller added a child's backpack should sit right above the curve of your back, no lower. 

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