Now that children are back in school, most of them are using backpacks on a daily basis. This is a good time for a reminder from Dr. Kent Carlomagno on how to use backpacks safely, in order to avoid unnecessary strains and potential accidents.
A backpack should only weigh about 15% of its wearer’s body weight, at most. Tell your children not to put things they won’t really need it. Most children’s class schedules will have settled down enough by this point for them to plan which items to swap out during passing periods, so ask them if they’re remembering to do so. Backpacks should also be worn at the center of the back. Children should tighten the straps if it is hanging over their lower back, but not so much they cut off circulation to their arms.
It is certainly better to use a backpack than a shoulder bag or large purse that concentrates weight on one side of the body, but the weight in the backpack has to be evenly distributed and both straps should be used. It’s best to use a backpack with a chest strap and to select the smallest one possible. Make sure your kids use proper lifting techniques while putting the backpack on and removing it, and ask them if they have tingling or numbness or nerve pain from vertical weight pressure in their limbs if it looks like they’re struggling under its weight.
Dr. Kent Carlomagno operates Summit Chiropractic and Longevity Center at 710 C Street, Suite #12, San Rafael, California, 94901. To schedule an appointment, call 415-721-7520 or visit SummitChiro.net and fill out a contact sheet.