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Orange County Chiropractor Gives Backpack Safety Tips for Children and Teens
It's back-to-school time again!
As parents, we imagine you are filling your shopping carts with school supplies galore. In just a matter of days, children and teenagers will be filling their backpacks with everything from paper, notebooks, pencils, and of course, those heavy school books.
While a backpack is certainly a helpful tool, there are hidden health risks associated with improper use of a backpack.
As Orange County Chiropractors we believe that taking the time to do your backpack safety homework can reduce the risk of your child ending up with a neck, back, or shoulder injury. Help your children avoid back strain and injury by following these tips:
Choose the right backpack for your child or teenager
The most important aspect of backpack safety is choosing the right backpack for your child's needs. While many backpacks may seem like "one size fits all", you'll want to be sure to try out a few types and choose the best backpack based on these criteria:
• Choose the correct size for your child's body size. The backpack should not be larger than your child!
• Choose wide, padded shoulder straps. While style is definitely important, comfort and safety must be your priority.
• Choose a backpack with two shoulder straps and a waist strap is highly recommended.
Teach your child how to pack their backpack properly
• Make sure your child's backpack weighs no more than 5-10 percent of his or her body weight. If there are too many books or supplies weighing your child down, discuss alternate storage for extra books, such as a locker.
•Load the heaviest items closest to the child's back.
•If the backpack forces your child to lean forward to carry, it's overloaded!
Make sure your child is wearing their backpack properly
• Be sure your child wears both straps. It may look cool to just sling one strap over your shoulder, but it makes the weight unevenly and unsafely distributed, which can lead to back or shoulder injuries.
• Your child's backpack should never hang more than 4 inches below their waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
It's important to remember that backpacks often weigh as much as 20-40 pounds and put tremendous stress on a child's growing spine. If a backpack is too heavy or worn incorrectly, children and teenagers can experience injured muscles and joints which can lead to back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as posture problems.
As Orange County Chiropractors, we hope that you found these tips useful and remind you to watch your back!
(949) 454-8811| firstname.lastname@example.org| 24002 Via Fabricante Ste. 501
Mission Viejo, CA92691
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
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