Kids and Backpack Safety

Backpack Safety

Kids are carrying far too many books in their backpacks these days, and to make matters worse, they’re wearing them improperly as well. What effect do backpacks have on kids’ health both now, and in the future? Richard Pistolese, DC of Future Perfect Inc., makes the following recommendations when choosing a backpack:

  • Look for backpacks with wide, padded shoulder straps. Narrow straps dig painfully into shoulders and can hinder circulation, causing numbness or tingling in the arms, which over time may cause weakness in the hands. Padded shoulder straps help absorb the load.
  • Look for backpacks with “S” shaped shoulder straps, which will ergonomically contour to your child’s body.
  • Consider the weight of the backpack when empty. For example, a canvas backpack will be lighter weight than leather.
  • Look for backpacks with a waist or chest strap. This will help keep the load close to the body and help maintain proper balance.
  • Look for backpacks with a backpack with a built in back support.
  • Look for backpacks with a lumbar pillow.
  • Make sure the backpack is not too heavy. Students of all ages seem to be carrying heavier loads. Even when worn properly with both straps, leaning forward to compensate for this extra weight can affect the natural curve in the lumbar, or lower back region. Extra weight may cause a rounding of the shoulders and an increased curve in the thoracic, or upper back region. As a result, the student may experience back, shoulder and neck pain. A good rule to follow is to carry no more than 10-15% of one’s body weight.
  • Consider purchasing a backpack with wheels.

Informative Articles & Links

Backpack Use Increases Risk of Childhood Back Pain

Chiropractor-Recommended Backpacks by Airpacks®

Endorsed by COCSA

AirPacks Ergonomic Backpacks

Stop backpack injury, patented design shifts load to lower body. Physicians recommend that students carry n o more than 15% of their body weight on their shoulders and backs, yet studies show younger students are lugging as much as 40% each day. Airpacks come in 3 sizes (Small #3300 – $49.95, Medium #4300 – $54.95 and Large #4500 – $59.95) in an assortment of colors. Ergonomic design features include: patented lumbar air cushion and wider, foam cushioned straps, adjustable both top and bottom with slide strapping that adjust side-to-side to help maintain correct ergonomic support. Additional features include: padded haul handle, a large interior compartment(s) for heavier books and other necessities, a large front pocket with organizer for notebooks, pens and pencils (even a handy key keeper, CD player pocket and headphone port), a front zipper pocket, two side bottle pockets and a detachable cell phone/mp3 holder. Medium and Large have built in padded laptop compartments.


About chirobydesign

I am a full-time chiropractic wife (my husband is a third-generation chiropractor), office manager and mother to 2 amazing kids. In my spare time (you'd think I wouldn't have any!) I am a freelance graphic designer. I've been under chiropractic care since I was a child, and have worked in the chiropractic field (chiropractic assistant, office manger, etc.) for 14 years.
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2 Responses to Kids and Backpack Safety

  1. marcys says:

    How ’bout the schools stop giving so much homework and making them carry so many books? I’ve seen ten year olds and younger carting pounds of books on thier little backs.

  2. jdmkem says:

    All great ideas! Thanks for posting. It is just as important to find a backpack that fits well as one that holds all your stuff. I like to keep an eye on to find just the right one for my kids.

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