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Back-to-school Backpack Fitting Basics

At the practice, it’s common for us to be asked about the proper fitting of backpacks. So many kids today are wearing backpacks that are far too heavy as if they’ve been loaded with a stack of bricks! Not only can heavy backpacks be uncomfortable to wear but they can cause posture problems, back pain and other issues. When kids load up their backpacks on the bottom, the result is that a lot of pressure is put on the back and the neck becomes strained significantly. Headaches, low back pain, shoulder pain and neck pain all can arise.

In this video, we talk about three things to keep in mind to ensure that your child’s backpack is worn properly. By following these basic tips, your child can reduce postural issues, and their back won’t take a beating.

1) Ensuring a good fit. It’s a good idea for your child to wear their backpack high up into the shoulders, close to the back, with the shoulder straps being tight, not slack.

2) Organization is key. While many kids tend to haphazardly toss things into their backpack, taking a few extra minutes to organize it can make a big difference. For example, encourage your child to place the heaviest items in their backpack as close to the back as possible, reserving bulkier items for the outside compartments.

3) A weighty matter. Consider that the weight of your child’s backpack should never be more than 15% of their body weight. So if a young grade-schooler weighs 50 pounds, their backpack shouldn’t be more than seven and a half pounds. An older 100-pound student shouldn’t carry a backpack weighing more than 15 pounds.

We are also going to be holding a workshop on September 14 at 5:15 p.m. More details about the do’s and don’ts of backpack fitting will be shared. Time will be reserved as well to perform postural assessments on kids while they wear their backpacks. We look forward to seeing you then!

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