In the US in 2001, backpacks were the cause of 7,000 emergency room visits and countless complaints of muscle spasms, neck and shoulder pain.
A few tips
Rule 1 – Lighten up!! The backpack should never weigh more that 10% of the child’s body weight. So if they weight 80 lbs., then 8 lbs. maximum. You would be surprised how quickly you can overload a backpack.
Rule 2 – Balance!! A backpack with 2 wide adjustable straps will allow you to balance the load across a wider area on the shoulder, which means more comfort and less digging in. (P.S. Make sure they are using both straps and not on one shoulder).
Rule 3 – Size!! It’s important that the backpack is held close to the body. The further the weight is from our center of gravity the force increases dramatically. When they load the backpack put the heavy books or computer closest to their back.
Rule 4 – If you child complains of tingling in their arms or aches and pains in their low back or neck, have them get checked out by a chiropractor.
Knowledge is power!!!