Backpacks are a leading cause of back and shoulder pain for millions of school children across the nation. As students gear up for back to school this fall, Minnesota chiropractors would like to offer parents ways to help children avoid backpack injuries.
Over 40 million students carry a backpack to school each day. While carrying a backpack to school every morning may seem harmless, it can cause painful back and neck problems for students who don’t pack or carry their backpacks properly. It can also lead to long-term medical problems.
Safety tips on how to avoid backpack injuries
1. Wear both shoulder straps evenly to properly distribute backpack weight.
2. Get the correct size backpack for your child.
3. The backpack should not extend below the lower back. Bigger is not better.
4. Lighten the load and put the heaviest items in the backpack first keeping them the closest to the body.
5. Lift the backpack with your legs and place it on one shoulder strap at a time.
6. Do not leave backpacks on the floor to avoid someone tripping on them.
7. Choose a quality backpack that has wide well-cushioned shoulder straps with a lumbar support/padding.
8. Talk to teachers about reducing the need to bring home textbooks or if at all possible have an extra set for home use.