Back to school backpack safety tips

Back to School

For kids, picking out backpacks can be fun time, choosing between the colors and designs, but how do you know if your child is picking a safe backpack. Carrying a backpack to school every morning may seem harmless enough, However, it can cause painful back and neck problems and injuries for students who don’t carry their backpacks properly. 

Recent statistics show carrying heavy backpack may pose a serious threat to your child’s future spine development. Doctors suggest students carry no more than 15-percent of their body weight on their backs. For example, a child that weighs 50 pounds should only carry 2.5 to 5 pounds on their backs. 

Dr. Julian Chipley is a chiropractor in Beckley. Chipley said parents should pay attention to how their children behave when carrying their backpacks.

“Paying attention to how they’re carrying the backpack and how much weight is in the backpack starts to become very important because that’s the first thing to really tip it off is they’ll start to complain of pain and they’re otherwise healthy and they shouldn’t be having this pain in an otherwise healthy situation when you’re anywhere from 5 to 20 years old this should be a normal part of life,” Chipley said. 

These are some other important things to keep in mind. 

  • Avoid using backpacks or athletic bags with one strap
  • Ensure your children wear both straps on their shoulders to distribute weight evenly
  • Use a book bag on wheels or an air cushion book bag if possible

If your children are having headaches, neck pain, bad posture, achy and strained muscles, low back pain, or tingling hands they are probably carrying to much weight improperly. 

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