As school holidays draw to a close, parents everywhere are trying to make sure that everything is ready for the coming week.
I remember the bags we used to drag to school back in the day, I really loved my brown hard case (super old school…). While not all change is good, thankfully, there are lots of vastly more appropriate bags available now. This school year, make sure that you are doing the best for your child’s back health. We have made it easy by identifying 5 things that you should consider when deciding on which bag and how it should be worn.
- The backpack should weigh less than 10% of your child’s weight.
The rule of thumb keep your child’s back healthy is the bag should weigh less than 10% of your child’s weight. For example; if your child weighs 50kgs, the bag should weigh a maximum of 5kgs.
Having a heavier backpack puts undue stress onto the lower back and may cause pain.
If your child must haul more than this weight to school every day, it is wise to consider other options, such as lockers at school, or a wheel bag that can be pulled along the ground.
- Pack heavier items at the bottom of the bag.
It is important to pack your bag well. By putting heavier items at the bottom of the bag, it distributes the pressure evenly through the stronger parts of your lower back. This will reduce the amount of strain on the shoulders and upper back.
- Wear your bag over both shoulders and sit around your waist.
By wearing the backpack over both shoulders, it helps keep the spinal muscles even and allows both sides of the spine to work equally to prevent tightness in the lower back. Wearing the bag around the backside increases the pressure on the lower back. Ideally, the bottom of the bag should sit around the waist line and level with the hips. Some bags come with a waist strap – this is ideal.
Children should not experience persistent back pain. If they do, they should see a physiotherapist.
- The bag needs to fit the shape of your child’s back.
Look for a bag that has some structure in the part that is closest to the body and better still, find one that is contoured to the shape of your child’s spine.
- Where possible, have some padded sections over the shoulders and lower back region.
This is a no brainer – it just makes the bag more comfortable and less likely to rub.
Correctly fitted backpack can promote:
- Optimal alignment of the back
- Disc and joint health
- Normal movement of the spine
- Adequate conditioning of the lower back and core muscles
Your child should not experience persistent back pain. If they do, you should consider seeing a physiotherapist. Any questions, drop us a line.
Need more help with this or another issue? Contact us, or come visit.